Peas (English, Snap peas, Snow Peas, Crowder Peas, etc.) are very easy to grow. They thrive even in poor soil. In fact, as a legume, pea plants are able to take nitrogen from the air and fix it in nodules in their roots with bacteria to enrich the soil. Whether you grow them yourself or pick them at a PYO farm, or buy them at the market, they're available fresh almost everywhere.
Pick English Peas when the pod is full and green and the peas are still tender and sweet. Test for maturity frequently by picking a couple of pods and examining them for firmness. Harvest the Chinese and snow peas, which are eaten pod and all, when the pods are 1-1/2 to 2 inches long and the peas are about the size of BB's. The pods are usually picked 5 to 7 days after flowering.
Similar to English peas, except the pod itself is also sweet and tender, like the peas inside.
Like snap peas, the pod is edible, except you want to pick them while they are still flat, before the pod starts to swell with peas inside. Harvest Chinese and snow peas, which are eaten pod and all, when the pods are 1-1/2 to 2 inches long and the peas are about the size of BB's.
When are they available?
Peas are a cool, even cold weather crop, and can tolerate frost and cold soil. In the U.S. Peas typically peak during February (in the Deep South) through October in the North. Peak season is February through June before the weather gets hot. Some farms plant a Fall crop too, as they only take 45 to 60 days from the time the seed is planted!
Before you leave to go to the farm:
General Picking Tips
Whether you pick Peas from your garden or at a Pick-Your-Own farm, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Look for Peas that are :
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