Celebrate spring by planting peas!
It’s about that time! Many gardeners sow peas right around St. Patrick’s Day, and some of us on the first day of spring. Either way, sowing peas is a great way to celebrate spring and get back into the garden. Here are some of our favorite tips for sowing peas:
- When to sow. Peas will germinate in cool garden soil (40°F), but if you usually have a wet spring wait to sow your peas until the first day of spring or 4 to 6 weeks before your average last frost date, reducing the risk that they rot in cool, wet conditions. In mild climates, sowing in fall for a cool-season harvest is your best bet.
- Soak pea seeds in room temperature water for 12 to 24 hours to hasten germination. After soaking, consider mixing wet seeds with an inoculant (beneficial Rhizobia bacteria) that is commonly available at your local garden center. Inoculant works with pea roots to pull nitrogen from the air into the soil, increasing the pea harvest and fertilizing the soil for the next crop.
Sow peas a second time. Two weeks after the first sowing, sow another row to prolong the sweet harvest. Mark your calendar, because you can even sow again in late summer, 10 to 12 weeks before your average first frost date for a late-season harvest. --Botanical Interests