Last Updated on January 9, 2022 by Griselda M.
Peas are a tasty, nutritious, cheap, and low-maintenance addition to your home vegetable garden – but how long does it take for peas to grow? Will you spend seasons looking after the plants before the first harvest? Luckily, no. In fact, peas are annual vegetables that take around two months to grow! Let’s find out if they’re a good fit for your veggie patch.
Peas: When And Where To Plant Them
There’s a longtime tradition of planting peas around St. Patrick’s day. However, there’s no specific planting month. You can plant them in February, March, or April, depending on the zone.
Plant the seeds 4 to 6 weeks before the last spring frost. Insert the seeds 1 inch into the soil and leave 2 inches distance. Each row has to have at least 7 inches distance. As an extra, you can soak the seeds the day before you plant them.
A little snow won’t hurt the roots. But beware of a prolonged time with low temperatures. Seeds perform best in temperatures above 60℉. They can survive lower degrees but will grow slower.
They’re not a summer crop, so they should mature while the spring temperatures are still in the lows. However, if you live in a warmer climate, you can plant peas in late summer or early fall. This way, you’ll have fresh instead of frozen peas in winter.
If you’re dealing with very moist soil, consider building a garden bed for the peas. Peas need well-draining soil and plenty of sunlight. While they can grow in partial shade, the final yield will be poorer.
Types Of Peas
You can choose from 3 types of peas. Each has a slightly different taste, but they’re all suitable for cooking and growing in home gardens.
Snap peas – known as sugar snap peas, are thick, edible pods with large peas inside. They’re sweet, and you can eat them raw or cooked.
Snow peas – they’re less sweet than the previous kind but very close in taste. The pod is thin, crisp, and has small flat peas inside. They grow early in the season. They’re popular in Asian cuisine and can be eaten raw and cooked.
Sweet peas – these are the only peas with an inedible pod. The peas inside are round and fully grown. This is the most common type of peas.
Peas Growing Time
The key to growing perfect peas is to have a longer cool season – not cold, but nothing over 80 degrees. After sowing the seeds, early peas need around 60 days until full maturity. Mid-season peas need between 60 and 70 and fall peas need 70 to 80 days.
The dwarf peas grow between 2 to 4feet. Climbing peas are taller, reaching up to 6 feet. Their stems are fragile, so use trellis to support them. The frames should be around 6 to 8 feet tall.
If you plant the pea seeds in early spring, there are chances you’ll experience slow growth. This is because the seeds struggle at temperatures below 40°F. They won’t necessarily die, but you might have to wait longer for some stems to appear.
Do Peas Grow In Winter?
Peas can be planted in fall and grown in winter but only in warmer climates. So if your area doesn’t experience winter frost, you can try your luck with a few pea plants.
Pea Plant Flower To Pod
As peas appear from under the soil, they form vines, foliage and climb the trellis you’ve provided. Flowers appear in around a month, depending on temperature, care, and nutrition. As flowers mature and petals fall off, a pod is formed.
The period from flower to fully grown pea pod takes 18 to 21 days. Smaller pods and peas like snap and sugar peas mature in 5 to 8 days after flowering.
When Are Peas Ready To Harvest
The correct time to harvest depends on the type of peas you’ve planted. For guidance, check the packaging of the seeds. Monitor the plants daily as soon as pods appear. Harvesting them at the correct time provides you with sugary, crunchy peas. Older peas become starchy and lose the sweet taste.
The pod should be firm and crisp, and the peas inside need to be well-formed. Harvest when the peas are slightly bigger than the seeds you’ve planted. Pick the pods regularly to encourage the plant to produce more.
Freshly picked peas keep up for a week in the fridge. Then, freeze the leftovers for winter.
Will Peas Grow Again?
Peas are annual plants, so once the harvest is over, you need to remove the plants. You can plant new seeds again next year, but you should choose a different spot. Ideally, you want to grow peas in the same place once every 4 years.
Each season the plant consumes valuable nutrients from the soil. But the peas have a special feature. The pea roots add nitrogen to the soil, making it great for new crops the following term.
Learn more about How Do I Keep My Snap Peas Producing All Year?
Nutritional Benefits Of Peas
Peas are not only tasty but packed with nutritional and health benefits. A study shows that regular consumption of peas decreases the chances of gastric cancer up to 50%.
They contain lutein and zeaxanthin, crucial for maintaining excellent vision. In addition, these components protect from cataracts and blue light.
Peas provide anti-inflammatory benefits due to the vitamin A, B, E, and C, zinc, ferulic, and caffeic acid.
IF you’re watching your weight, peas are the perfect meal. A handful has only 60 calories, but 4 grams of protein and 21grams of calcium!
Bottom Line: How Long Does It Take For Peas To Grow
Peas are a nutrient-dense, hardy crop that withstands cool temperatures. There are 3 types of peas, but all grow similarly. All of them are annual plants that you need to plant every year in a different location. Luckily, they grow fast.
The pea seed takes 60 to 80 days to grow to full maturity. They’re easy to upkeep and produce up to 30 pods per plant. Regular harvest is a must; otherwise, the plant will produce less and lower quality peas.
Have you tried growing peas? Share this article if it made you consider adding peas to your vegetable garden!
Mary is a passionate gardener who loves spending her days getting her hands dirty and nurturing her plants. She‘s an avid reader of gardening magazines and is always looking for new ways to make her garden thrive. When not outside tending to her plants, Mary can be found inside reading up on the latest gardening trends, comparing notes with fellow gardeners, and finding the perfect pottery planter for her next planting project.