Hear about what varieties of peas you can grow in your garden that will be ready early in the season.
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They are so much better than anything the grocery store will ever offer.
The sweetness and tenderness can't be match. Peas naturally converted sugars to starches as they age, so it doesn't get any better than when they are plucked from the plant.
Peas aren't too hard to grow. However weather can be an issue, especially if you live in a place that heats up rather quickly.
For that you may be looking for early peas that can grow fast enough for you, before the temperatures get too hot for good productivity.
Early Maturing Varieties
Here are a list of some early maturing shelling peas varieties.
The characteristic these peas have in common in that they don't grow super tall - considered dwarf varieties. They produce pods early then.
Laxton's Progress No. 9 was the first variety of shelling pea I picked in my garden this season. Even when the heat kicked in (I am talking about a string of 90+ degree days) the peas keep producing at least some pods.
If I am trying to get snap peas as soon as possible I plant Cascadia. They tend to ripen early than the standard Sugar Snap Pea.
Sugar Ann is another one that is ready even early, but I personally prefer the flavor of Cascadia.
Snap peas are always ready ahead of the shelling peas. Since you eat the entire pod and you aren't waiting for peas inside to fatten up, they are ready quite a bit quicker.
If your concern for early peas is heat, you may want to check out the Magnolia Blossom pea. I have never had a pea preform better in the hottest part of the summer. They can still grow and produce more peas, even when the rest of your peas are just about dead.
Snow peas have edible pods like snap peas, but they are flat in shape. Again as with snap peas, there are more compact, dwarf plants that will produce an early harvest.
For summer longevity and just because the peas and the plants are beautiful I always plant Golden Sweet Snow peas.
How to Keep Your Peas Growing Longer
I learned this trick a couple years ago, but now am starting to really make it work.
In order to give your peas a longer life span, plant something near them that will eventually shade the bottoms of the plants. This works best if you grow your peas up some type of trellis.
Kale and Swiss Chard are the best options I think. Both will still grow during the summer and the leaves will provide enough shade to keep the taller pea plants growing longer.
After your peas have taken off, plant the chard or kale. You can plant them pretty close together as peas have shallow roots. I plant my kale close together as I like to harvest some of the "baby" leaves first and then allow it to get bigger to shelter the peas.
What pea varieties do you like to grow? Leave us a comment below.