Category Archives: Peas

3 Types of Peas

yellow and green snow peas

Yellow and Green Snow Peas

Here in northern USA we consider ourselves lucky that we have two pea growing seasons, plenty of time to plant both in early spring and again in late summer.

Which kind of pea(s) any gardener plants is a matter of preference, but the different types are often confused with one another:

1. Snow Peas
Known for their curved appearance, snow peas are best harvested when they are young. You cannot pick a snow pea too small, if you can see it you can eat it pod and all; and right off the vine, for that matter.
Most snow peas suffer in their texture if they become over ripe. They make for better eating, less ‘woody’ as my husband says, when picked small before the seeds inside begin to develop.

2. Snap or Sugar Snap Peas
Snap peas are similar in appearance to snow peas when they are young and are often confused for snow peas. In this case you want to actually let the pea seeds inside develop before you harvest. ‘Snap’ the top part of the pod, and pull any string off that comes out in the process.
Again you can enjoy pod and all.

3. Shell Peas
Also referred to simply as Garden Peas, this is your basic green pea. The pods are harvested after they get quite plump, are opened and the seeds inside is what is enjoyed fresh or steamed. The pods of shell peas are usually more elongated and have less of a curve to them.

shell peas

Shell Peas

Here in the Jones’ garden you will find a few different colors of snow peas in the spring, and a wee bit of snap and shell peas.
By fall we are pretty much fresh pea’d out, so only will grow and harvest shell peas for preserving.

How to grow peas.
A few varieties we enjoy.


How To Grow Chick Peas

A veggie by any other name.

A veggie by any other name.

AKA Garbanzo Beans or Ceci beans, these legumes are actually neither a pea nor a bean.

They are not often found in the home garden, especially this far north. The reason is they prefer much hotter temperatures and lots of rain.
We are just getting our first beans now, partly because of the weather but also because the rabbits got to the plants early in the spring, setting them back a few weeks.

As we understand it these are delicious fresh, so of course we had to find out for ourselves.

Plant like you would any other bean, waiting until the ground is warm and after all danger of frost.
Put the seed in the soil twice as deep as the size of the seed, about 1/2 inch.
Rather than purchase seeds, we just bought some dry beans at the market.
Same thing, but cheaper.
And that way, we know we will have chick peas no matter what.

Chick peas don’t have to be staked, but they do fall over a bit when they get taller. If you prefer you can grow them along a support and tie as needed.

They really are a pretty plant, with delicate leaves similar to some ferns, and pretty little white flowers.

As for the taste? Give us a few weeks, and we’ll let you know first hand.

Botanical name: Cicer arietinum
Height: 10-18 inches
Days to Maturity: 75-90, depending on whether the rabbits find them or not.
Hardiness: Prefer heat, but will grow in cooler climates with lower yields.
Yield: One plant will provide a number of pods, each pod will produce 2-3 peas.
Use/Storage: Eat fresh, cooked, or let dry and store as a dry bean.

How To Grow – Peas

Peas are one of my favorite veggies for two reasons:
1. They are one of the first seeds to get planted in spring.
2. They are also a great fall crop.

Peas can be planted ‘as soon as the ground can be worked’ which around here is usually mid-March.
Many gardeners say plant Peas for Saint Paddy’s Day- that works for us.
Plant them about twice the size of the pea itself, and about 3″ apart. You can plant on both sides of your trellis, to get the most bang for your space.

how to grow peas

baby peas

With enough moisture they germinate quickly, you can expect to see your peas pop out in a week or two.
If you want to hasten their arrival, place your seeds between two moist napkins, keeping them wet until you see the peas sprout; then plant.

You do need some sort of trellis- anything from an upside down tomato cage to a more formal support.
Peas have beautiful tendrils that will wind themselves around just about anything as they grow.
Do you want to know something else that is wonderful about Peas?
The flower that blooms is already fertilized.

Yep- that’s right. Peas don’t need any help to reproduce.
Peas will start producing in less than two months, so be ready!

how to grow peas

Here they come.

‘Snow’ and ‘Sugar Snap’ peas are picked before the peas inside develop, and eaten pod and all.
‘Green’ peas or ‘garden’ peas are picked later, and shelled to enjoy the seeds inside.
Some peas, like “Golden Sweet” can be eaten either way. Gotta love that.

how to grow peas

Snow Peas

Be sure to leave some to save for seeds.
In the photo above, the snow pea in front is ready to be picked-
The one to the left and behind can be left to grow for the seeds.

Botanical name:Pisum sativum
Yield: numerous veggies per seed planted
Days to maturity: 50-60 days
Spacing: 1-2″
Plant height: Up to 6′ or more.
Storage: Best frozen, in my opinion, but canning and dehydrating also work

Peas to Please

growing peas

pea vine

I’m in gardening withdrawl, are you?

I love green peas mainly because they are one of the first seeds to go into the ground in spring.
As soon as the ground can be worked – one of my favorite sayings – you simply push that pea seed in.

Regular green peas are the ‘shelling’ type, meaning they are grown until the seeds- the peas- are plump and are removed from the pod for eating.

Snap Peas and Sugar or Snow Peas are eaten pod and all. Sugar or Snow Peas have flat pods and are often seen in stir fry and other Oriental dishes.

Peas are usually given support, though there are varieties that don’t need it. They grow quickly too, giving you fresh produce before the tomatoes are even in the ground.

All peas can be frozen, shelled peas can also be dried.
Oh, if you are wondering what the fuschia color is in the picture above, it’s 2 inverted tomato cages.
I couldn’t resist the color even though I don’t use tomato cages.
Worked pretty good for the peas!