How Much Sun Do Peas Need: A Grower’s Guide
Peas are the best vegetable to grow even in small pocket gardens. It is one of the first crops to plant in spring and is considered nature's candy off the vine. These plants grow quickly and do not require much attention. However, they need full sunlight to grow. Which leads us to the question - how much sun do peas need?
Kinds of Peas
Vegetables are easy to grow, especially during early spring. The following are three kinds of peas commonly planted in home gardens:
- English peas, aka shelling peas (Pisum sativum ssp. sativum), produce inedible pods from which large, edible peas are harvested.
- Snow peas (Pisum sativum var. macrocarpon) produce edible flat pods with small peas inside.
- Snap peas (Pisum sativum var. macrocarpon ser. cv.) produce tender, edible pods with full-size peas.
When is the Best Time to Plant Peas?
Generally speaking, you should plant peas as soon as the ground thaws and can be worked during spring.
For a more systematic approach, sow seeds outdoors four to six weeks before the last spring frost date and when the soil temperature reaches at least 45°F (7°C).
Do not plant if the soil is drenched from snowmelt or spring rain. It is a sensitive balance of proper timing and weather conditions. If your garden stays too wet, consider investing in elevated garden beds.
A sheath of snow won't hurt developing pea plants. Be ready to plant again if the first batch of peas did not make it. Alternatively, try to start planting your peas in a cold frame.
The second round of peas can be planted in the late summer or early fall, roughly six to eight weeks before the first fall frost. Fall plants are typically not as productive as spring-grown ones, but they do make for an enjoyable fall snack.
How to Plant Peas
- Soak peas overnight before planting for enhanced germination.
- Plant the seeds 1 inch deep (a little deeper if the soil tends to dry out quickly) and about two inches apart. Plant them in rows with 12–24 inches apart.
- Punch in any seed that tends to get washed out of the soil. (Use a chopstick for this process).
Pea Growing Tips
Once the peas germinated, they will climb a fence or trellis to anywhere between two to eight feet tall. Be ready for support in advance.
Water them sparsely unless the plants are wilting. Water them periodically if the weather is dry. Don't let them dry out, or else no pods will be produced.
Keep the pea beds free from weeds, but be cautious when using weeding tools. Gently remove weeds by hand.
Rotate pea crops every year to evade a buildup of soil-borne diseases.
Bright is Plentiful
Pea plants may suffer during the summer heat, which is why you have to know how much sun do peas need. Peas thrive in the less severe and extended sunlight during early spring and late fall season. The right amount of sun helps develop the plant and reduces the chance for pea-prone infections to develop. Set your garden area free of structures, trees, and shrubs that can cast shadows to your pea plants. If you wish to choose between morning or late afternoon sun, go with the gentler exposure of the first rays of the day.
Like all green plants, peas need light energy to grow. While this crop can make do with just partial shade, choose a planting area that gets full sun about six to eight hours a day for best yield.
Solar Power: How Much Sun do Peas Need?
Plant pea seeds straight into a line or patch during March as the hours of available sunlight increases and the soil is dry enough to be managed without clumping. To give you an estimate of how much sun do peas need, the seeds germinate from 40 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The higher the temperature, the faster the seedlings will grow.
Growing your vegetables in a home garden can be fun and rewarding. This activity brings freshly picked produce to your table at a minimal cost. Once you understand how to grow peas, you realize it is an easy crop to grow and harvest. We hope that this article will help you start the possible leisure of planting peas in your backyard.
November 10, 2020
by: Annette Cockerham
No doubt, freshly shelled peas are delicious, but once you chowed down on the peas, you are left thinking about what to do with pea pods.