The sweetness of garden peas is legendary. Wando is our most productive pea in warm weather. It's also tolerant of cold, so it can be planted early. The blunt, dark green pods with 7 to 8 medium-sized peas are great fresh or frozen. Makes an outstanding winter crop in Zones 9-11. The best way to stretch the harvest is to plant early and late varieties. Direct-sow in early spring, again in midsummer for a fall crop. 200-225 seeds per packet, sows about 30' of row. Our seeds are not treated.
Sow in average soil in full sun in early spring for first crop, in late summer for fall crop. Sow seeds 2" apart in double rows spaced 6" apart with 24" between each set of rows. Cover with 1" of fine soil, and sow 1" deep. Support shorter peas on small stakes or a pea fence, or taller kinds on a pea tower or trellis netting. Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days.
How to Grow Peas
Thin to stand 4-6" apart when seedlings are 1-2" high. Peas may need extra water under dry conditions, but they often mature before dry weather sets in. They do not perform well in overly wet conditions, and the seeds can rot in wet soil before they germinate. Coat untreated seed with an inoculant. After you have grown the seed once, the beneficial bacteria in the inoculant can survive in the soil.
To determine when to pick shell peas, check the pods by eye and feel. If the pea pod is round, has a nice sheen, and is bright green, it's ready. If the seeds have made ridges on the pod and the pod is a dull green, it's past its prime. You can pick snap and snow snap peas at any time, but they're tastiest when the pods still have some play around the peas when you squeeze the pods. Pick snow peas before the peas Start to enlarge in the pods.