How to Grow Peas Vertically in the Garden
How to Plant and Grow Peas on a Trellis
I show you how to grow your own peas from seed. There are step-by-step instructions with my own photos for making the trellis that will keep the plants upright. Growing peas this way maximises your space so you can have lots of vegetables even in a small garden. I show you the correct way to plant the peas for a higher harvest yield. The seeds are very large so this makes them ideal for children to grow.
When to Plant Your Pea Seeds
The best time is early spring. Here in Ireland that is March to April. If the weather is still very cold in the spring, then two weeks before you intend to sow the peas, cover the soil with a polythene sheet or straw. This will heat up the soil.
How to Plant for the Best Yield
- Find a place in your garden where you will have easy access to both sides of your pea trellis. This will make it easier for you when you need to tie the tendrils and for picking the pea pods.
- Create a raised bed where you intend to sow the seeds. The reason for doing this is that the soil in the raised bed gets warmer more quickly. This will speed up germination.
- Using a small spade or hoe make a deep hollow on the middle of the dirt.
- This will create two trenches one on either side.
- You can now place the support frame into the middle of the dirt.
- I used two large bamboo sticks and wrapped and secured some chicken wire around each pole.
- The chicken wire is perfect for growing peas on.
Taking Care of the Plants
- Pour in some water to the soil on the two mounds of compost.
- Then sow your seeds.
- Put them into the soil at about one inch deep which is approximately two and a half centimetres. Place the seeds at least two inches apart which is approximately five centimetres.
- Pea seeds are large and easy to see so this planting process is made very easy.
- Cover your pea seeds with a tiny amount of soil and flatten it down firmly.
- If you are still experiencing very cold weather with snow and frost then you should protect the seeds by adding some straw or other mulch on top of the soil to keep it warm.
- I would advice you to go ahead and plant in early spring even if the weather is still not very warm.
- If you leave it too late then you will have your peas growing at full bloom during the very hot summer. Peas do not like consistently hot sun and their growth will be stunted.
Supporting and Growing
- It all depends on the weather as to how often you water the seeds and tender shoots.
- Give them a good sprinkle of water once a week as they continue to grow taller.
- Check on them every day and if you notice the soil is drying out give them another watering.
- Be careful though because over watering the plants will also kill them..
- As they start to grow larger and summer comes along water every few days or as needed.
- If the soil gets too dry this will stop the peas from flowering and producing pods.
- You can avoid this happening by adding some mulch around the surface once they reach a height of about five inches.
- Once they reach this height it is time to begin the job of attaching them to your support.
- You will see tiny tendrils on each plant. Gently curl these around your support.
- The chicken wire is great for this as there are so many holes in the wire.
- Check your plants every day from now on and see if they need to be supported.
When to Harvest
- It takes about twelve to fifteen weeks for your pea plants to grow to maturity.
- It all depends on your soil, the weather conditions and how well they were looked after.
- Your plants should grow to a good height of about four to five feet.
- First you will see lovely white flowers appearing.
- These will eventually die and produce the pea pods.
- The pods will grow from each flower and then each pod will fill up with peas.
- At first the peas will be very small and thin. They will soon grow round and large within the pod
Ready to Pick
- Your pea pods will always be ready at the bottom of the plant first.
- So check these pods every day to see how the peas are growing.
- When you can see the peas are round, big and full to bursting in the pod you know they should be picked.
How to Remove the Pods From the Plants
- Harvest from the bottom of the plants first.
- Have a secateurs or a sharp scissors ready.
- Take a pod in one hand and pull towards you.
- This will leave the end of it exposed enough to make a clean cut.
- Place in a container and continue with the others.
- Never pull the pods off with your hands as this will damage the rest of the plant.
- The shock will prevent the plants from producing any more growth to the remaining pods.
- When you remove the fully grown pods from the plant there is more room for other pods to develop and produce even more peas.
Have you ever grown peas in your garden?
Planting the Seeds
Last year the spring weather was still very cold and frosty here in Ireland. I decided to plant some pea seeds in compost in a tray and under shelter. But I also planted some straight into the ground and covered these with mulch. I transplanted the growing seedlings from my cold frame once they reached about five inches in height.
The plants in the ground were smaller at first but both methods were successful as the smaller plants soon caught up once the weather got warmer.
How to Plant in Pots and Containers
I filled a small tray with compost and then placed half a cardboard toilet roll in it. I placed one seed in each. I watered as normal because the cardboard allowed the water to penetrate to the seed.
When it was time to transplant the seedlings into the ground I was able to plant each one without damaging the roots. I cut the cardboard away from the small plant and placed in the soil outside.
As you can see from the photos I had a very successful crop of peas last year. If you have the room they are a very easy and fun vegetable to grow with children. The kids can see the peas actually growing bigger with the pods. If they have grown their own vegetables children are more inclined to eat them too.
How to Grow Other Vegetables and Fruit
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Can I pinch back young pea plants?
Yes, you can but there is no need really. The pea pods will grow big enough without you having to thin the leaves