You can grow peas indoors if you have a room in your house that gets six to eight hours of direct sunlight every day. Grow tall vine peas in window boxes with a trellis that will run up the wall to support them or keep dwarf pea varieties in containers. Your options are only limited by space and light.
1. Choose the Right Variety of Peas
Snap peas or dwarf peas will grow well indoors all year round. Obtain seeds for your peas from a local garden center.
2. Prepare the Containers and Growing Soil
Prepare the soil in either container with potting soil fortified with one cup of rich organic compost including manure and grass cuttings. For snap peas that grow long vines, use a long, narrow window box. Provide support in the form of a trellis, or pea netting tied to tall sticks inserted into the container. The support can rest against your sunny window. Ensure you have four vertical feet of support for the peas, regardless of which type you use.
Start dwarf peas in medium-sized plastic margarine or ice cream containers with holes punctured in the bottom for water drainage, and use the lid under the container to catch water runoff.
3. Plant the Pea Seeds
In the window box, plant pea seeds five centimeters (two inches) apart. For a container planting of dwarf peas, plant eight seeds in a circle in a pot that has a 10 gallon (10 liter) capacity. Put the seeds about 3/4-inch (two centimeters) down in the soil.
4. Water Pea Plants Lightly to Start
Water pea seeds after planting, using just enough to dampen the soil. Continue watering sparingly until the stems have flowers in full bloom, and you can see pod structure forming. Then, soak the soil well twice a week.
5. Train the Peas Up the Supports
When the pea seedlings have reached four inches tall, begin to train the pea vines around the supports you’ve provided. At six inches tall, pinch off the tips so the peas will send out horizontal shoots that will cling to the trellis or wires.
6. Maintain the Plants
If you want the pea plants to self-fertilize, take the containers outdoors and allow the flowers to be pollinated by bees or other insects. Otherwise, treat them as annuals; harvest the peas and let the roots and stems die off. Then, plant fresh seeds next spring for more peas.
7. Pick the Peas Daily When Ripe
Once the pods and peas are ripe, pick them every day to encourage more pods and peas to grow. You should be able to pick fresh peas off the vine until late September or early October.
Tip: Pea shoots are a delicious and nutritious item in and of themselves. Grow peas as listed, but trim with scissors just above soil line when the seedlings reach four inches. Keep them tight inside a baggie in your refrigerator. Use them on salads, on sandwiches, or anywhere you'd like the taste of fresh peas.
Advantages to Growing Peas Indoors
By growing peas indoors, you eliminate the problems of wind damage, insects, other pests such as slugs, and other plant diseases that can thrive in your garden soil. You can also manage the water intake of the peas precisely, and prevent problems like root rot that can result from overwatering.