Peas have received a bad reputation from those forced to eat the canned spheres of mush that claim to be peas. As any gardener knows, plucking a fresh pea from the vine and eating it whole offers a crisp, sweet flavor that shares nothing with its canned (or even frozen) cousins.
How to grow peas
Many birds love pea seeds, so you may have to protect your crop with netting until the seeds germinate. Seeds should be planted 5” apart, 1" deep in rich, loose, moist soil. As they grow, your pea plants will use tendrils to grasp and climb, so you will want to provide netting or a trellis. Sunflowers work nicely, too. If peas are being grown in a container, a tomato cage works well. Water regularly and be sure to harvest pods as soon as they are ready to keep the plant producing. Peas left on the vine will become too tough and starchy to eat, but they can be saved for planting or stored for some easy split pea soup! Succession planting can provide many months of harvestable peas.
As members of the legume family, peas (and beans) have the ability to transform atmospheric nitrogen into a form that plants can use. Until your peas go to seed, the tiny nitrogen-converting nodules on their roots will provide neighboring plants with an extra boost of nitrogen.
You can grow a surprising amount of food in your own yard. Ask me how!