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A Guide to Growing Peas

My sweet peas are in full bloom and looking absolutely gorgeous! Sweet peas are a cottage garden classic, with a delicate scent and ability to climb up plant supports, they can create an impressive display in your garden.

Although sweet peas are inedible, I love to grow my own peas too which although look a bit drab next to their sweet pea cousins taste deliciously fresh. Check out my handy guide below to growing your own peas.

Where to grow peas:

  • Choose an open, weed-free site in full sun.
  • Peas flourish in a moist, fertile and well-drained soil.
  • If you can, dig plenty of well-rotted compost into the soil several weeks before sowing to improve soil fertility and help retain moisture.
  • Don’t worry if space is an issue, peas still grow well in containers or patio bags.

When to grow peas:

  • Peas are a cool season crop, enjoying temperatures of 13 -18C (55-64F) so they are well suited to the UK climate.
  • I've already had a crop off my peas now that summer is in full swing, as I sowed them in mid-May. Peas are best sown outdoors from March to June before temperatures get too hot.
  • Using cloches will help the earliest crops to germinate. (view our range of cloches and plant supports for some gorgeous options).

How to grow peas:

  • Protect the seed - Birds think pea seeds are a tasty treat so cover them with netting after sowing.
  • Provide supports - Peas produce tendrils to help them climb upwards. Give them a hand with some plant supports, our Barrington Spiral Supports are perfect for this and add some country cottage style to your garden too! I’ve opted to use the Barrington Obelisk Supports for my sweet peas as they encourage the blooms to spreads out a bit more and create a more impressive display.
  • Water regularly - Once pea plants start to flower it’s best to water thoroughly once a week to encourage good pod development.

How to harvest peas:

  • Peas should be harvested regularly about 11-12 weeks after sowing to encourage more pods to be produced.
  • The pods at the bottom of each plant will mature first so begin harvesting from low down and work your way up as the pods mature.
  • Peas are sweetest and tastiest when eaten freshly picked from the garden, but they can be frozen too.