Leguminosae, Pisum

Place of Origin: Europe

Optimal temperatures for germination 60-68OF (18~20℃)

Optimal temperatures for plant growth 58-68OF (15~20℃)


Scientific name: Pisum

Pea plants like low temperatures and have resistance to coldness during the seedling stagem but as they grow, they have less resistance to cold. When the temperature reaches 78OF (25℃) or higher, pods don’tgrow well. Grow pea plants when the average temperature is under 78OF (25℃) during flowering period to podstage. Pea plants can be grown in a wide variety of soils, and can produce high yields in loamy and clayey soils. It is important that the soil is well drained. There are several pea varieties, including shelling peas, snap peas, snow peas, and a dwarf variety.


Seeds can germinate at relatively low temperatures. Although it takes longer for germination to occur, seeds can germinate at the temperatures below 50OF(10℃).  The best time to sow seeds varies upon location. In southerly climbs, peas can be planted in December through February, but in northerly climbs, peas should be planted just after the danger of frost has past.


When planting in ridges, the width should be a little over one yard (1 meter), and the space between seedlings  is 12-18” (30-45 centimeters). Sow 3 or 4 seeds in each seeding place and cover seeds with about 2 centimeters of soil. (Change the space between where the seeds are planted according to variety.) When a few leaves emerge after the cotyledon, thin the seedlings and grow two seedlings in each place. When thinning, don’t pull the seedlings, but cut them in order not to damage the roots of the remaining seedlings. (When transplanting seedlings to places where plants haven’t germinated, plant young seedlings.)

Growing Seedlings in Pots for Transplanting

When growing seedlings for transplanting, grow two per pot. Each seedling should have a few leaves after the cotyledon before transplanting.
※ The cotyledon of a pea plant is under the soil. All leaves after the cotyledon appear above the ground.
※In transplanting seedlings, consider the soil temperature and the air temperature as well as the size of the seedlings. When transplanting the seedlings is delayed due to low temperatures, the growing period for the seedlings can be extended (see photo).

Cold Protection

In very cold locations, the seedlings need to be protected from frost and the cold by covering the seedlings with a protective layer of straw, cut grass, unwoven fabric, and so on.
※ Remove the used straw from the field when it is no longer needed.

Gathering Soil / Setting Poles

In the early spring when seedlings are growing remarkably quickly, gather the soil around the base of the seedlings. Set poles or nets for pea varieties with vines, and train the stems and vines. When poles are set up too late, stems break and the seedlings don’t grow well. Try to erect the poles early. For dwarf varieties, place poles or strings so that the seedlings don’t fall over. The peas can then be easily harvested and the leaves or pads are prevented from extending into the pathway.

Harvest Between April and June

Harvest snow peas when pods are flat and have not begun to swell; harvest green peas when the peas swell and the pods are wrinkled; and harvest snap peas when the pods are soft but have swelled to some extent (before the peas are fully enlarged).

The Promotion of Flowering

When low-temperature treated seeds are forced to germinate after 20 days at temperatures around 36 OF (2℃), flowering is promoted and a high early yield is expected. When flowers are prompted, the position of the flowers are lower on the vine, and the flowers emerge earlier than when the plants are grown by ordinary methods.


Saving Seeds

If green peas are harvested early and then ripened, the skin of the pods sometimes have wrinkles. It is easy to think that the beans are not mature, but beans have their natural power and there is no problem. However, as the physical content of each pea is small, plants may not live longer and the seedlings grown from the beans may only grow a little.

When pods begin to have wrinkles, seeds have germinating power. When harvesting pods for saving seeds, don’t take seeds out of pods. Ripen and dry the pods.

[Caption for the last photograph]
Pods that began to have wrinkles were ripened and dried, and the peas were taken out from them.
The peas look wilted, but they have germinating power and grow well after germination. It is preferable to harvest pods after ripening much more, but according to weather conditions, the pods can be harvested earlier.

A New Way of Life
Why Natural Agriculture? Pure Soil, Seed and Heart Testimonial Articles Recipes
Farming & Growing
Farms and Gardens Cultivation Basics Cultivation Methods Articles about Cultivation Get Seeds Publications
Get Involved
Global Friends Message from Friends Donate Now Events Volunteer Shop Contact Us