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Growing Peas

How to grow Peas in containers, garden beds and allotments



Family/Latin Name

Fabaceae - Pisum sativum

Type of Plant

Legume - Crop Rotation Group = Others

Suitable for

Garden Beds, Allotments, Containers

Pests & Diseases    Companion Plants    In the Kitchen

See also:-  Vegetable Growing Glossary  |    Container Growing  | Buying Seeds & Plants


Plant Dimensions

Height Up to  90cm/3ft+ depending on variety 

Spread up to 20cm/8" depending on variety

Yield per 1.5cm/5ft row 2.2kg/5lb

Time between sowing and harvesting

12-16 weeks


Sowing time

Late March - May  temperature +10C/50F

Where to Sow

Outdoors in large containers particularly troughs or open ground

How to Sow

5cm/2" deep

In containers  - 7.5cm/3" between seeds in groups/blocks 

In open ground - 7.5cm/3" between seeds - staggered in rows at least 45cm/18" apart depending on how tall the variety grows or in groups/ blocks

After Germination

Protect from birds and slugs. Keep well watered and weed free.

Growing on -  in Containers

Start to support with twigs when the plants get to 7.5cm/3" high. Continue to keep watered. 

Growing on- in ground

As above.


Medium and tall varieties will require extra support as they grow. Keep well watered and feed with liquid fertiliser once the flowers have faded and the pods begin to form. 


Begin cutting pods when the peas are well formed but with small spaces between each pea. Start at the bottom of the stem. Pick regularly to prevent pods fully  maturing on the plant. Crops over a period of 4-6 weeks.

Pests and Diseases

Companion Plants

Indications Young leaves are eaten - sometimes completely missing
Treatment Organic
1. Sink small pots filled with beer to ground level. Empty daily
2. Sprinkle slugs with table salt
Use slug pellets
Prevention  Avoid damp or humid sites
Black Fly/Aphids
Indications Leaves distorted, yellowing and stunted distorted growth on bean pods and withering plant stems with patches of black in the leaf nodes
Treatment Organic
Spray with a weak solution of soapy water
Use water through a hosepipe to knock the aphids off the plants
Spray with an insecticide containing Bifenthrin, Imidacloprid or Pyrethrum
Prevention None
Bean Weevils
Indications Leaves have U shaped notches around the edges
Treatment Organic
Place a sticky card or bucket of water under the plant and shaking to remove the weevils from the plant. Then destroy the bugs underfoot or pick them off by hand
Spray with an insecticide containing Fenitrothion
Prevention Plant a barrier of garlic along side the rows.
Downy Mildew
Indications Yellow patches on leaves with a greyish mould underneath
Treatment Organic
Remove the infected leaves and apply an organic copper spray/dust to diseased and surrounding plants every 7-10 day
 Remove the infected leaves and spray with Dithane at first sign of attack
Prevention Avoid damp or humid sites and overcrowding. Practice crop rotation.
Pea Moth
Indications Peas holed and contain little greenish maggots
Treatment None
Prevention Organic
Try planting early and late varieties

Spray with an insecticide containing Fenitrothion 7-10 days after the start of flowering

 Companion Flower Graphic

Grow Carrots, Radish, Turnip, Cucumber, Sweetcorn, Beans close by.



Create a bio-diverse environment by planting flowers nearby to attract bees, ladybirds and other "friendlies". 


To learn more about companion planting click here.

In the Kitchen

Storage:  Packed loosely in plastic bags for 2-4 days in the refrigerator. Excess amounts can be frozen. Prepare as below then blanch in boiling water for 1-2 minutes, drain well and allow to cool before freezing 

Preparing:  The outer pods of mature peas are too tough to eat, so the peas need to be removed from the shell (shelled)  and cooked on their own.  To do this easily, press along pod seam until it pops open, then scrape the peas out with your  thumb. Rinse in cold water before cooking.



2-4 minutes


Stir-fried 3-5 minutes


No quicker than conventional cooking


5 - 6 minutes

For more preparation and cooking information about peas plus lots of  recipes visit our sister site www.recipes4us.co.uk.

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