Legumes: Peas

Learn more about legumes — particularly peas — with our thorough plant guide that shows you when to sow and harvest, plus the best conditions for these plants.

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Pea 'Feltham First'

Early and dwarf, this is a useful, high-yielding pea variety for small gardens. Better results are often achieved from fall sowings in containers, where plants are given some protection.

Sow: Mid- to late fall; midwinter to early spring
Harvest: Late spring to midsummer
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Pea 'Twinkle'

An excellent early variety, the first sowings of which perform best if protected under cloches when young. Dwarf plants give good crops of full pods and have resistance to pea wilt and tolerance to downy mildew.

Sow: Late winter to mid-spring
Harvest: Late spring to midsummer
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Pea 'Hurst Greenshaft'

Pairs of long pods develop high on these plants, making harvesting of this traditional variety’s consistently large crops somewhat easier. The peas are large and sweet, and plants have good disease resistance.

Sow: Early spring to early summer
Harvest: Late spring to early fall
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Pea 'Rondo'

One of the tastiest and heaviest cropping peas, this double-podded variety has dark green, straight pods up to 4 inches long. Plants need supports, but the succulent peas should be ample reward.

Sow: Early spring to early summer
Harvest: Late spring to early fall
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Pea 'Sugar Snap'

A versatile sugar snap variety that can be picked young and eaten whole, raw, or stir-fried, or harvested when mature and podded for fresh peas. Plants grow up to 6 feet tall, so need support from trellis or canes.

Sow: Early spring to early summer
Harvest: Late spring to late summer
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Pea 'Oregon Sugar Pod'

An excellent snow pea variety that produces wide, flat pods best eaten whole, either raw, steamed, or stir-fried. Expect large yields of these crisp, sweet pods from plants that grow to 36 inches.

Sow: Early spring to early summer
Harvest: Late spring to late summer
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun