Peas are nitrogen-fixing members of the leguminous family. Originating in the Eastern Mediterranean, seeds have been discovered dating back to 7000BC. During this lengthy period of cultivation, many varieties have gradually been selected into existence. Since the introduction of the Sugar Snap variety, they have received much more attention.
Peas make for awesome Microgreens, can deliver more than one crop per tray, and are highly nutritious, tender, and tasty.
Peas were featured as the Crop Focus in IAF Podcast Episode 11.
Pea seeds will retain 50% viability for 3 years, if stored in a cool, dry, dark place. Federal germination standard ~80%.
Growing from Seed
Peas will tolerate a range of climates; growth is enhanced by cooler weather. Peas are usually direct seeded, .5-1" deep, and will germinate at 45-75'F within 5-7 days. Plant within full sun to partial shade, depending on how warm the temperatures are.
Peas are inbreeding plants. They are perfect, and self-pollinating. Most flowers pollinate before opening; crossing is minimal. If there's not much else for them, bees will settle for peas, which increases crossing.
Peas mature early in the summer, and if allowed to dry on the vine, can be harvested for seed extremely easily. Both harvest and shelling are simple.
Peas need to soak for 24 hours, and will absorb quite a bit of water in that time, so keep an eye on them and top off as needed. After exposing to light, harvest at to 3"-5" high, ideally before they shoot out their climber support shoots, and allow them to produce a second and perhaps even third crop to really maximize each tray!