(Pisum sativum) Peas are an annual cool-season legume. The origins of the domesticated pea are unknown, but wild peas are native to the Mediterranean basin and parts of western Asia. Peas have historically been an important, protein-rich storage crop. Peas thrive in cool weather and are often the first crop of the season. Plant peas directly into the garden in early spring or in late summer for a fall harvest. For fall planting, seed directly in the ground 60 days before first fall frost. (If your area stays above 75 degrees F into fall, you may not have a successful crop, and it is probably best to just plant in spring.) A trellis is essential to keep vining-type plants from trailing along the ground. Bush (dwarf) types do not grow so tall, and, planted in blocks, hold each other up without need of additional support. Ideal germination temperature is 40-70F. Seeds germinate in 7-14 days. Sow seeds 1⁄2 inch deep and 2 inches apart. Keep well weeded and be sure to mulch with straw or hay, as deeply cultivating around the base of the plant can disturb and destroy the plant. Many gardeners choose to innoculate their pea seeds with Rhizobium bacteria in order to boost yields and improve the soil. While not necessary, inoculation is advantageous.
One of the best-tasting peas we have ever tried. This superior variety was saved by Mennonite farmer Lillian. It is not an old, storied heirloom of antiquity, but rather a discontinued commercial variety that this family did not want to see disappear. Lillian explained that she grew Caseload peas from Johnny’s Seeds and loved the variety. When the company discontinued the caseload pea, Lillian tracked down some seeds to save. After almost two decades of seed saving, the variety has developed unique characteristics making it different from the original Caseload pea. Vines reach 2-3 feet in length with peas about 2.5-3 inches long, containing 5-7 large, sweet peas.
The Sugar Bon pea is a delightful dwarf variety that matures early, is suitable for spring or fall planting and produces sublimely sweet 3-inch pods borne on 1-2 foot tall plants. Plants produce mega yields of the crispy, crunchy sweet and snackable peas that have have both edible pods and peas. This early, high yielder is tidy and prolific, making it a perfect choice for tucking into square-foot gardens, under row covers in cool weather, or for mingling in your cottage garden among the flowers or in tidy container gardens.
Superbly snackable and intensely tasty, this is a truly stringless edible-podded sugar snap pea with a brix (aka natural sugar) level that is just off the charts! The semi-dwarf vines reach just 24 inches tall and can be trellised or allowed to grow without support. Each bushy vine produces a bounty of 3-inch-long pods that can be eaten whole or shelled. They are amazing either way! A perfect choice for beginner gardeners as they’re easy to grow and so rewarding. Even the more ardent vegetable hater cannot resist the Sugar Daddy pea!