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Peas and Pea Pods

Memories of eating Peas straight from the vine has no doubt led many of us down the garden path with our watering can. Peas prefer cool weather so direct sow in sun and fertile soil in the spring as soon as the soil can be worked. Plant tall, climbing varieties along a sturdy or netted structure to support the plant and to elevate the pods. Harvest Shelling Peas small and tender, and Snow Peas once the pod is flat and shiny. Pick daily once Peas begin to mature. (Peas are open-pollinated and ideal for seed saving: a great activity for humans of all ages.) Found in nurturing American chicken pot pies and tuna casseroles, sinfully rich Fettuccini Alfredo, refreshing Middle Eastern minted-salads, creamy emerald-green soups and scores of winter stews, the Pea is revered around the world. Barely blanched fresh Peas with sweet butter and a light sprinkle of sea salt is the best. But admit it, who among us does not love the seven layer salad of the 1970s? In a large glass salad bowl, layer from the bottom up: 3/4 head chopped Iceberg Lettuce, 1 cup chopped Celery, 1 cup chopped red or green Sweet Peppers, 1/2 cup diced Red Onions, 1 cup fresh Peas, 1/2 cup sliced water chestnuts and 1/4 head chopped Iceberg Lettuce. Mix together 2 cups mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon salt. Spread over the top of the layered salad and chill for 24 hours or overnight. To serve, top with 1/2 cup crumbled crispy bacon, 1/2 cup chopped hard boiled eggs and 2 cups grated cheese. Toss and serve to rave reviews.

Average seed life: 3 years.

Sugar Magnolia Purple Snap Pea

Sugar Magnolia Purple Snap Pea Sugar Magnolia Purple Snap Pea Sugar Magnolia Purple Snap Pea
70 days. This brilliant new Snap Pea features purple flowers and deep bluish-purple pods that add an extra dash of flair to both the veggie garden and crudité platters. The pods are sweetest when picked before they fatten to their maximum size. Vines grow up to 7 feet tall and cling tightly to any trellis. (OP.)

One packet of about 150 seeds
Catalog #3465
$4.05
  • Buy 10 for $3.65 each and save 10%
  • Buy 50 for $3.05 each and save 25%

Availability: In stock

$4.05

Gardening Tips

Peas Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
:1”-2”
Row Spacing:18”-20”
Seed Spacing:1”-2”
Days to Germination: 4-14 days
Germination Temperature: 60°-70°F

Since Peas dislike heat, direct-sow in the spring as soon as the soil can be worked or in the late summer for fall harvest. Peas prefer rich soil. Amend the soil as necessary with organic fertilizer, compost and/or well-rotted manure. Plant in full sunlight. Plant seeds 1" to 2" apart or in double rows 4" to 6" apart. Provide a supportive structure if the Pea vines grow over 24" tall. Space the rows the distance equal to the height of each variety. Water regularly and mulch to deter weeds and retain ground moisture. Install floating row covers to protect the plants from birds if necessary. Harvest Shelling Peas while they are small and tender. Harvest Snow Pea Pods when their pods are flat and shiny. Harvest Snap Peas when their pods are fat and tight but still smooth. Pick Peas on a daily basis once mature to prolong pod formation. For an early crop, prepare the bed completely in the fall, digging in lots of manure. By doing so, you will not have to wait for the soil to be workable and prepared: all you will have to do is pop the seeds in the ground as soon as it has thawed in the early spring. Peas are open-pollinated, thus ideal candidates for seed saving.

Cues for Minding Your Peas
Picking Peas is easy, but you need to do it at least every other day for best quality and freshness, and to keep production going. Here are a few tips:
~For Pea vines that flop over but are too short to trellis, flip them to one side and pick the ones exposed on top. The next day flip the whole row back again and pick the other side.
~For tender shelling Peas, pick when the Peas are round and filled out in the pods. When you squeeze the pod they should feel solid but not hard.
~Pick snap Peas such as Super Sugar Snaps when they feel hard, but while the surfaces of the pods are still smooth.
~Peas grown for their pods, such as Snowflake, should be picked while they are still flat, before the Peas swell inside. The pods can be picked while tiny, but have more flavor at a larger size.

Win the Race for Spring Peas
A local restaurant we know used to award a prize for the earliest Peas brought in. To me, that heavenly fresh taste is reward enough. Here are some tricks for extra-earlies: prepare the bed completely in the fall, digging in lots of manure. It can even be fresh manure, since it will rot during winter. You won’t have to wait for the soil to be workable; just pop the seeds in the ground as soon as it has thawed. In warm climates, you can even plant in late fall or winter for spring germination.

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