Planting Fall Peas

Cultivate a fall crop of peas with these helpful suggestions.

Snowbird Peas

Snowbird Peas

Snowbird peas are a good fall vegetable that can be harvested until frost. They take 58 days to mature, so take that into consideration when deciding on a time to plant.

Photo by: AN NGUYEN / Shutterstock.com

AN NGUYEN / Shutterstock.com

QUESTION: 

I have a community garden and am planning on planting peas for the fall. Fellow gardeners have told me they have bad luck with fall peas, but I'm going to try 'Snowbird' and 'Maestro', which are both recommended for fall. I prepared an area by working in a small amount of well-rotted manure, a good amount of grass clippings (the soil was pretty heavy and tends to compact), and a sprinkling of dried blood and bone meal; all worked into the top 4 inches. I'm going to soak the seeds 24 hours and inoculate them. (I don't know whether there have been peas in this area before.) Is there anything special I need to do to have success with a fall crop? What would cause my fellow gardeners to have good spring crops and bad luck in the fall?

ANSWER: 

It sounds as though you're all prepared and ready to grow a fall crop of peas. Pea seeds germinate best at soil temperatures of 50 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit and will emerge in six to 14 days when sown about one inch deep and one inch apart. Standard germination rate for peas is about 80 percent. Since peas grow best in lower temperatures, perhaps your gardening friends planted too early for a fall crop.

Peas take from 75 to 120 days to mature, depending upon variety. 'Maestro' matures in 110 days; 'Snowbird' in 58 days. You can harvest right up until frost, so count back the number of weeks from your usual first frost of the season, add about a week for germination and plant on the target date for the variety you're growing. Keep the seedbed moist until the plants emerge. Good luck with your pea garden!

Next Up

Flower Fail: Blossoms Aren’t Pretty When Zucchini Won’t Fruit

Having trouble growing zucchini in your garden? Here's one possible reason why you're getting a small yield of this popular summer squash.

Tips for Edible Gardening in Small Spaces

Make the most of a small garden space by mixing flowers and vegetables in an ornamental edible garden.

Companion Planting for Tomatoes

Learn what companion plants to grow alongside your tomatoes to improve tomato plants' health and boost your harvest.

Companion Planting for Okra

Boost your okra harvest by planting with companion plants, plus learn about creative ways to use okra in the garden.

Companion Planting for Onions

Onions are easy to grow and so ueful in the kitchen. Learn what other vegetables and herbs grow well with onions in the garden.

Companion Planting for Eggplant

One of the most beautiful vegetable garden plants, eggplant can be plagued by pests like flea beetles. Try companion planting techniques to protect your eggplant crop.

Companion Planting for Sweet and Hot Peppers

Homegrown sweet and hot peppers top most gardeners' wish lists for the summer garden. Learn companion planting techniques that may protect your peppers from pests and boost your harvest.

Best Companion Plants for Cucumbers

Discover companion planting techniques to boost your crop of cucumbers and avoid common pests like cucumber beetles and squash bugs.

Where to Buy Vegetable Plants Online

It's perfectly acceptable to grow many veggies and herbs from transplants instead of seed, and you can even order some online.

Companion Plants for Beets

Beets are relatively easy to grow but they can benefit from being planted before and after certain other garden crops.

Go Shopping

Spruce up your outdoor space with products handpicked by HGTV editors.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.