Learning the Different Varieties of Peas Learning the Different Varieties of Peas

With so many varieties of peas, it may be a bit daunting to select one type yo grow in your garden. Read this practical information about peas to determine which variety is right for you.

Types of Peas

There are 2 types of peas. Smooth-seeded varieties are starchier and typically grown to be used dried. Wrinkle-seeded varieties are sweet and best eaten when young.

Most home gardeners grow sweet peas, and of these wrinkle-seeded peas, there are 3 main kinds. They are:

  • Shelling peas (English peas, green peas): These do not have edible pods, but—as the name implies—instead are used for shelling and eating just the small pea seeds inside.
  • Snow peas: These are edible pod peas and typically have a flat pod.
  • Snap peas: These are edible pod peas and have a thick pod.

Growing Types of Peas

All of these varieties of peas are available in long-vined and dwarf-vined types. Long vines grow 4 to 6 feet tall and require support, while the dwarf-vined ones grow only 2 to 3 feet tall and do not require support. Depending on your growing space and preference, you can select which type works best for you. Long-vined varieties are often easier to pick, as they are trellised upward and they generally bear more peas than the shorter varieties.

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