Cover Pea Telephone

How to Sow and Grow Peas

Peas, with their tender sweetness and vibrant green colour, are a beloved staple in the UK’s vegetable gardens. Whether enjoyed fresh off the vine, added to salads, or incorporated into hearty stews, peas are a versatile and nutritious addition to any meal. In this blog, we’ll explore the steps to sow and grow peas in the UK, offering traditional methods as well as innovative techniques like using a gutter pipe for vertical gardening.

Jump to a topic:

Pea Tom Thumb

Selecting Pea Varieties

Before sowing peas, consider the type of peas you want to grow. There are two kinds of pea plant to choose from – dwarf or regular climbing peas. Choose varieties suited to your preferences and growing conditions, keeping in mind factors such as flavour, pod size, and maturity length.

Timing and location

Peas prefer cool weather and can be sown as soon as the soil can be worked in early spring. In the UK, this typically falls between March and May. Choose a sunny or partially shaded location with well-drained soil for optimal growth.

Preparing the Soil

Prepare the soil by loosening it to a depth of about 15-20 cm and incorporating organic matter, such as peat free compost or well-rotted manure, to improve soil fertility and structure.

Sowing Peas

There are several methods for sowing peas, including direct sowing and starting seeds indoors. For direct sowing, plant pea seeds 2-3 cm deep and 5-7 cm apart in rows spaced 45-60 cm apart. Alternatively, start pea seeds indoors in biodegradable pots or modules and transplant seedlings outdoors once they have developed a few sets of true leaves.

Cover Pea Golden Sweet

Caring for Peas

Peas require regular watering to maintain consistent moisture levels, especially during dry spells. Mulching around plants can help conserve soil moisture and suppress weed growth. Provide support for pea vines to climb, such as trellises, bamboo poles, or netting.

Harvesting Peas

Peas are ready for harvest when the pods are plump and well-filled but still tender. Use two hands to pick peas, gently pulling the pods from the vine to avoid damaging the plant. Harvest peas regularly to encourage continuous production throughout the growing season.

Vertical Pea Growing

A creative and space-saving method for growing peas is to use a gutter pipe as a vertical planter. Choose a sturdy, lightweight gutter pipe and drill drainage holes along the bottom. Fill the gutter pipe with peat free compost, then sow pea seeds along the length of the pipe, spacing them according to the variety’s recommendations. Hang the gutter pipe vertically in a sunny location and provide support for the vines to climb as they grow.

Pea Golden Sweet

Starting Peas Off Early in a Gutter Pipe

We absolutely love starting our peas off inside the greenhouse as it prevents mice nibbling at those precious seeds.  A great space saving way to do this is in a gutter pipe.  Simply cut a piece of pipe the width of your bed or container, fill it with peat free compost and plant your pea seeds.  Once your pea plants are around 10cm tall, make a furrow in the soil of the final container or bed and slide the pea plants in with minimum disturbance!

Growing peas in the UK is a rewarding and enjoyable experience that allows you to enjoy the fresh taste of homegrown peas throughout the spring and early summer months. Whether you choose traditional methods or innovative techniques like using a gutter pipe for vertical gardening, cultivating peas is sure to delight your palate and enhance your culinary creations. So, roll up your sleeves, sow some pea seeds, and look forward to a bountiful harvest of delicious peas in your own backyard.

Happy gardening!

Shop Heirloom Pea Seeds

Video – How to Sow and Grow Peas