Growing Peas in Containers Growing Peas in Containers
Container growing peas is a wonderful idea if you lack enough garden space but want to enjoy the taste of fresh peas. Plant them early in the cool season, preferably before the first frost to get a head start on your container vegetables, since the plants stop producing once the weather gets warm.
Follow these simple tips to successfully grow and enjoy peas all through the winter months.
Choose rectangular vegetable containers that are usually made from lightweight plastic or clay, but make sure they are at least 6 inches deep, 15 to 24 inches in diameter and have sufficient drainage holes or removable plastic plugs in the bottom. You may need to make holes if they lack them.
You may need several containers if you have adequate space and want an abundant crop of this nutritious vegetable.
Select the type of pea seeds you want to grow in your container garden. Some of the favorite varieties among home gardeners include Snow Pea, English Pea and Sugar Snap. Choose any compact bush variety with a quick maturity rate, such as Sugar Ann, which allows you to pick the pods in as little as 56 days.
Add Potting Mix
Fill each container with good quality soil less potting mix until about 3 inches below the rim. Add some slow-release organic fertilizer to the container if the potting mix lacks any to amend it. Mix it well with a hand trowel and pat it down in the container so it settles in.
Avoid adding too much fertilizer, however, which may result in large pods with little or no peas.
Sprinkle your seeds onto the surface of the container, keeping them an inch apart. Press them down gently into the potting mix to ensure good seed to mix contact. Brush just an additional inch of mix over the seeds to cover them lightly, since covering them in more will cause them difficulty in germinating.
Gently water the seeds to ensure the potting mix is moist, and keep your container outside on your patio or porch where it gets at least 6 hours of sunlight.
Add some mulch to the top to help retain moisture.
It is necessary to build some sort of support mechanism to encourage these climbers to grow well. You can build a lightweight decorative trellis, bamboo stakes, wire mesh or branches from tree pruning.
Your seeds will germinate around 7 to 10 days. Thinning is not necessary.
Use a fertilizer low in nitrogen once or twice during growing season. Water the containers deeply once every 3 days to ensure the potting mix gets sufficiently wet, more when the weather gets sufficiently warm. Avoid watering the leaves however, to reduce chances of mildew.
Harvest your peas when the pods become heavy and full. To do this, hold the plant in one hand and cut the pods with the other to avoid damaging the delicate roots. Harvest frequently when the plant starts maturing to encourage the vines to produce more.
Wash your peas, remove any strings and eat them fresh or freeze.