How to Grow Peas

Peas

Peas are a regular crop in my garden and are incredibly easy to grow. They sprout very quickly in all most any kind of soil. They do need a trellis to grow up and a best grown during the cold months, providing a sweet crop during late winter and early spring. Make sure that you plant them successively, 6 or 7 plants for a family every 3 weeks should ensure that you have plenty of peas. And you’ll need them as they sometimes don’t make it into the kitchen, getting eaten straight from the

Planting

Plant the seeds about 10-15cm apart, or closer if the soil is particularly rich with manure. Put them about 1cm deep, although I have planted them in loose soil and the seed ended up on top of the dirt. The peas seeds still sprouted and sent roots down and a stem up. They should sprout within 7 days from planting.

Makes sure that you have a trellis or some sort of structure for the the peas to grow up. They can grow to 2m tall.

Companions

Peas are excellent nitrogen fixers. They take nitrogen from the air and put it into the ground for leafy vegetables and fruits to use. They grow well with carrots, potatoes, parsnips and pumpkin.

Grow Peas - Companion Guide

Harvesting

You can get a riot of colour on the peas plants as they grow out their flowers and eventually pod up. A little secret to maximising your harvest is to pick the first first pea pods very early. This will cause the plant to put out more flowers. More flowers means more pods and more pods means more peas.

 

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What to Plant in June

cauliflower

It is still warm in some parts of the country so knowing what to plant in June is a little tricky this time around. The Bureau of Meteorology has issued its El Niño Southern Oscillation index report saying that most of the modelling it has done are in favour of a La Niña. What does that mean? It means above average rainfall for south, east and northern Australia. Knowing this means that you can start to plan around a wetter winter and spring. What does it mean for your area? Less frosts? How will your soil handle the extra wet? Starting to think like this, looking for clues in the weather is an important skill for all gardeners to learn.

This is what to plant in June in your part of Australia.

Cool

You have probably started having frosts (or if you are in snow country, snow) so keep that in mind before you put your plants outside.

  • Mint, sage, thyme, coriander, dill and parsley are all good to plant out now
  • Celery, carrot, turnip and fennel
  • Rocket
  • Pak choi and all chinese cabbages
  • Swiss chard, spinach and silverbeet
  • Beetroot
  • Spring fruiting strawberry varieties (consult your local garden shop)
  • Blueberry
  • Brassicasa like cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower.
  • Peas, Snowpeas
  • Broadbeans
  • Leek
  • HURRY UP AND PLANT GARLIC before the winter solstice

Temperate

  • Mint, sage, thyme, coriander, dill and parsley are all good to plant out now
  • Celery, carrot, turnip and fennel
  • Rocket
  • Pak choi and all chinese cabbages
  • Swiss chard, spinach and silverbeet
  • Beetroot
  • Blueberry
  • Potato
  • Blueberry
  • Brassicas like cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower.
  • Peas, Snowpeas
  • Broadbeans
  • Leek
  • Lettuce
  • HURRY UP AND PLANT GARLIC before the winter solstice

Sub-Tropical

  • Chilli
  • Pak choi and all chinese cabbages
  • Swiss chard, spinach and silverbeet
  • Brassicas like cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. <– watch for white moth
  • Peas, Snowpeas

Tropical

  • Tomato, capsicum and eggplant can be planted indoors
  • Corn
  • Beans
  • Potato
  • Chilli
  • Pak choi and all chinese cabbages
  • Swiss chard, spinach and silverbeet
  • Brassicasa like cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. <– watch for white moth
  • Peas, Snowpeas

What to Plant in April

garlic

April is a month where you should be starting to get your winter patch truly into shape and your planning for the cold ready.

You should already have dug through some manure and compost to help replentish your soil after a summer of supporting your tomatoes, cucumbers and corn. Start your winter veggies in small containers indoors or plant direct. These are what I recommend that you plant in your area.

Temperate and Cool

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Brussels sprout (which takes 9 months to produce so next month is too late for them)
  • Garlic (have them in before the winter solstice. They also take 9 months so now is a good time)
  • Fennel
  • Carrots (good to sow in areas where you’ve had heavy feeding plants like potatoes from summer)
  • Lettuce
  • Celery
  • Leek
  • Shallot
  • Onion
  • Broadbeans
  • Peas
  • Snow peas
  • Swiss Chard
  • Spinach
  • Rocket
  • Kale
  • Kohl Rabi

Tropical and Sub-Tropical

  • Celery
  • Parsnip
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Leek
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Kohl Rabi
  • Swiss Chard
  • Spinach
  • Beetroot
  • Broadbean
  • Peas
  • Tomato
  • Capsicum
  • Eggplant

What to Plant in March

fennel

Deciding what to plant in March can be difficult especially if you still have summer and spring plants in your patch growing and producing. Capsicums, tomatoes, cucumbers and beans are still producing. Last year, I had capsicums producing fruit until late autumn and into winter. That said, you can still get a headstart with some plants by putting seed in containers with a view to putting established seedling out in April.

Another thing to think about is that when you do clear out your summer crops is to put in compost, mix in thoroughly to the existing soil and just let it

Tropical and Subtropical

  • Celery
  • Fennel
  • Rocket
  • Radish
  • Swiss Chard
  • Beetroot
  • Sweet Potato
  • Pumpkin
  • Broadbeans
  • Peas

Temperate and Cool

  • All brassicas (cabbage, kale, cauliflower and brocolli) can be planted indoors now.
  • Brussels Sprout
  • Carrot (needs to be planted direct in soil)
  • Peas
  • Onion
  • Leek
  • Spring Onion
  • Broadbeans
  • Swiss chard
  • Beetroot

Seed Saving

Seed saving is one of the easiest and hardest things that that you can do in your garden. Easy because the plant does all the work and you simply gather the seeds. Hard because it most cases it means letting the plant go through its full lifecycle and not eating it.

It is basically free food, but at the cost of some space.

So how do you go about it? You’ll need a plant at the end of its lifecycle, a couple of envelopes and a pen. Record keeping is important here.

I’ve had great success with peas and snowpeas this winter growing and harvesting large amounts. When it comes to peas and snowpeas, the more you harvest, the more flowers and therefore pods are produced by the plant. This is great if you are there to continually harvest, but if you stop (like we did) then you end up with lots of snowpeas with seeds and with peas that are old and not much fun for eating. The plant has gone completely through its lifecycle and has produced the seeds for the next generation.

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As you can see from these images, the plant itself is done. I let the pods dry out on the plant. Then I harvest and put them in an envelope, labelled with what plant the seeds are from and when I harvested them. Generally, seeds that are stored this way are good for two years.

TIP: Try and select seeds from plants that have been particularly productive.

RESULT: Seeds saved for next season = free food