Top tips for growing perfect peas

peasThis month, Mr McGregor takes a look at growing perfect peas.

Nothing can beat eating fresh peas that have been plucked straight out of the pods on a warm summer day. When growing peas at home you can benefit from a superior taste and what’s best of all, they are easy to grow.

Not only are peas good for us, packed with nutrients, they can also be advantageous to other plants and the soil. Special bacteria that extracts nitrogen from the air is stored in the nodules on their roots, which offers great benefits to surrounding plants and the soil. September is the time to start sowing your peas as an overwintering young plant; ready for harvesting early summer and below you will find my tips to on how to grow healthy peas at home.

Growing perfect peas

  • Peas need to be sown directly into the ground about 4cm deep and 5cm apart from one another. Depending on how many plants you wish to grow, sow peas in either a single or double row
  • Protection is imperative over the autumn and winter months, so ensure that you cover them using a cloche
  • If you don’t have an allotment or raised bed, peas in the early stages can be grown in containers and kept in a cold frame or greenhouse, until being planted out in early spring
  • As soon as your peas have grown a few inches in height they will need support – twigs or fixed netting between posts can be used
  • Canes may also be needed depending on the variety that you are growing – for example, old heritage verities can grow up to 1.5m tall and will require the support of a cane
  • Keep plants well watered as soon as the plant begins to flower and pods start to form
  • If you wish to give your peas a boost a tomato feed can be used

Combating Pests

In the early stages of a pea’s life they can be prone to pigeon attacks. The cloche will help prevent this attack from occurring, but if you will be growing early next year during the spring months, a wire mesh placed on the ground should keep your seedlings safe from harm.

Pea Moth
Between June and August pea moth lays its eggs in the leaves and larvae can burrow their way to the pods. Early or late sowing of peas can escape this damage, but if you will be growing in the summer months ensure to cover your plant with a fleece.

Pea and Bean Weevil
Pea and bean weevil tend to damage the edges of your pea’s leaves, but usually the plant will grow through the damage.

Growing vegetables at home is a wonderful way to ensure that you and the family eat healthily and with my tips to growing perfect peas, you will be able to eat fresh straight from the garden.

Mr McGregor is a guest writer for Notcutts, a garden centre who specialise in offering great advice and products to their customers including their newly launched Tomato Feed.