1 There are many different varieties of peas, but all fall under one of two categories: shelling peas or edible pods. Shelling peas are those that need to be removed from their pods before eating. Edible pods are those that can be eaten whole.
2 These 'Sugar Sprint' snap peas (Pisum sativum) from Johnny's Seeds is a variety that is almost stringless. 'Sugar Sprint' peas are one of the earliest maturing types of peas that is also ideal for eating fresh or frozen. http://www.johnnyseeds.com
3 'Royal Snow' snow peas have large pods, and a mild bitter flavor. They're a great addition to salads and slaws. Their color stays purple, but turns muddy when overcooked.
4 Calvin's petite snap greens are named after Dr. Calvin Lamborn, known as the father of the snap pea.
5 'Cascadia' peas from Siskiyou Seeds are another great northwest bred variety. They are snap peas with unusually thick walled pods. They are extremely crisp and juicy. http://www.siskiyouseeds.com
6 The 'Super Sugar Snap' from John Scheepers is delicious raw, steamed or stir-fried. The plant produces thick, full sized ever-so-sweet snaps. https://www.johnscheepers.com
7 'Amish' snap peas from the Seed Savers Exchange are delicate and sweet. They were grown in the Amish community long before present snap pea varieties were developed. They have curved sickle-shaped pods. http://www.seedsavers.org
8 These 'Golden' peas are attractive pods with full flavor. The larger pods may become slightly bitter in taste.
9 'Feisty' peas are very sweet, and medium sized. They generally average about six to eight per pod. The 30-inch vines produce many tendrils, but few leaves, which makes harvesting a bit easier.
10 'Sienna' peas are very flavorful for a mid-season variety. Its vines are relatively short, but set heavily for a high yield.
Do you know... one serving of freshly frozen peas has more vitamin-C than two large apples?
11 'Green Arrow' peas from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange are ultra sweet. The plant is very strong and tolerates certain diseases, such as powdery mildew. http://www.southernexposure.com
12 'Knight' peas are fine flavored, early maturing shelling peas. They are vigorous and productive, and are large producers with tender sweet peas in well-filled four-inch pods.
13 Sow True Seed's 'Little Marvel' peas are small sized with big flavor. These peas are very sweet, and will definitely need a trellis to climb. http://sowtrueseed.com
14 When planting seeds, the first step after receiving them is to soak them overnight in warm water. This will expedite the germination process.
15 After the peas soak overnight, they should be thoroughly drained. In the United States, California leads in pea production - nearly 85-percent of peas are grown there, with the rest grown in Florida.
16 Peas are known to help fix the nitrogen content in the soil, but need an inoculant added to their soil to do this. Rhizobium leguminosarum is a nitrogen fixing bacteria that is often added to soils where peas and lima beans are planted.
17 Garden inoculants are available at most garden supply stores. Simply sprinkle a little inoculant powder onto the drained peas.
18 It is not possible to over inoculate, so don't worry about how much is added to the peas.
19 Once inoculant has been added, toss the peas to make sure they are all well coated.
The inoculant will boost the pea plants.
20 All the seeds have been coated with inoculant and are ready to be planted. Do you know... peas are only green when eaten because it is picked when it is still immature? A ripe pea is actually more yellow in color.
21 The pea is among the oldest cultivated vegetables in the world. Peas were found in excavations in Switzerland dating back to the Bronze Age. Peas were also very popular foods with the ancient Greeks and Romans.
22 Long beds along the fence line of the vegetable garden were earmarked for the peas. Peas do much better when given some kind of support such as a fence or a trellis.
23 When planting a lot of peas, it's helpful and faster to create a furrow or trench using a garden hoe.
24 Garden hoes can come in various sizes and styles. For making seed furrows, both an American hoe and a pointed hoe work just fine.
25 To create a single row, and to make sure it looks straight, stretch a string tightly along the outside edge of the well-spaded seedbed. This will give the plants enough room to spread out and enough room for harvesting.
26 Dig the furrow close to the support for the pea plants. In the mid-19th century, Australian scientist Gregor Mendel observed the pea pod to create his principle of Mendelian genetics, the foundation of modern genetics.
27 If there are different varieties being planted, give the rows a little space in between, so there's no confusion once they start to grow.
28 Drop the seeds about one and a half to two-inches apart.
29 Once all the seeds are dropped into the furrow, cover them with about an inch and a half of soil and lightly tamp down so there is contact between the peas and the earth. And, always place a stake identifying what peas were planted.
30 Another method to plant peas is to use a dibber. A dibber, or dibble, is a pointed wooden stick for making holes in the ground. This works best for small gardens and for when fewer seeds are planted.
31 Push the dibber down about two-inches and drop the pea seed. Be sure the holes are also a couple inches apart.
32 Once the seed is dropped into the hole, cover it with soil. Tamp the seeds gently, so there is good contact between the soil and the seeds.
33 And again, place a marker to identify what seeds were planted in what location. Water the crop well and keep the soil moist during growing season and the peas should be ready for harvesting around mid-June to early July.