Not necessarily. Peas, don’t forget are one of the earliest veggies to be directly seeded into the garden, as much as 6 weeks before the last frost date in zone 6A. This puts the potential sowing date in the first week of March!
Do you have your pea seeds yet? Time to leap to the catalog or computer and see what is available before time runs out!
There are a number of choices. Like stir fries with tasty pea pods as a centerpiece? Early maturing snow peas are for you. These peas are always used while in their pods and are quick growing, sweet and tender. They are occasionally called Chinese peas. They are widely available from many suppliers.
Sugar snap peas take a bit longer to develop and contain full sized peas but also feature a sweet and tender pod. These too are almost always eaten in the pod, a big labor saver over garden peas.
But if you are looking for a big bowl of steaming sweet peas with not a pod in sight, just like Grandma put on the table along with roast chicken on Sunday then garden peas are for you. Yes, there is more work shelling the peas but the yield is generally higher per plant and most garden peas hold a bit longer into warm weather than do snow or sugar snap varieties.
Garden peas come in both pole and bush varieties. Pole peas develop long vines and need a substantial trellis or better, the garden fence to support their climbing habit. Bush peas, despite their name, also benefit from support but the vines generally will not exceed four feet in length.
A piece of 4’ roll vinyl coated wire fencing with four inch mesh will make a superb pea trellis for many years. Of course it is equally valuable for beans, squash and cumbers as well.
According to the folks at Uncle Mac’s Garden Shed Burpee’s Easy Peasy variety is an ultra-reliable garden pea cultivar. It will require trellising but delivers abundant yields of tasty peas for a relatively long period of time.
But while there are scores of fine pea varieties to choose from, none can be planted if the gardener has no seeds. Time is running out! Run to your seed supplier if you want to give peas a chance in your spring garden.
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