Growing heirloom pea seeds in your garden
- 6 pea seed varieties
- Great for a mid-gardening snack
- Thrive in container gardens
- Cool season annuals, perfect for your vegetable garden
Grow the best fresh heirloom peas at home
Freshly picked sugar snap peas are the closest thing to garden sweets. It's an honor to be the one to see the first pea in the garden. Anyone who has ever planted peas knows that the first pea of the season is a prized possession. Crisp, fresh peas are unlike any other vegetable, yet no other produce vanishes as quickly from harvest buckets.
How to plant heirloom peas
About a month before the final frost, plant pea seeds outside. Heirloom peas are a cool-season vegetable that thrive throughout the shoulder seasons of spring and fall. Make sure the soil is roughly 45°F, and plant your peas in a well-draining, rich area—but don't use fertilizer because peas produce their own nitrogen. Push each seed into the earth about an inch deep and six inches apart. Add a trellis before the heirloom peas become too tall—T posts and hortonova netting work great.
The best companion plants for heirloom peas
Peas are a plant that produces pods bearing seeds and are classified as a legume. Because of their capacity to transform atmospheric nitrogen into a soil-bound form that other plants may utilize, legumes are regarded as excellent companion plants. Carrots, celery, parsley, eggplant, and peppers are among the veggies that benefit from heirloom peas.
Sugar peas, snow peas, and shelling peas are the three primary forms of heirloom peas. Each variety is produced somewhat differently and has a distinct flavor. Sugar snap peas are best eaten raw, and the stringless, crisp seed pods make a tasty snack in the garden. Snow peas have a distinct appearance than plump sugar snaps, and they're at their finest before the interior seeds form. The seed pods are edible, however you may need to pull the cord to prepare them for cooking.
Cooking with heirloom peas or eating raw peas
Cooked snow peas are excellent, but they may also be eaten raw. The pods of shelling peas are inedible, but the interior peas are delicious! Harvest snap pea pods when they are full but still young and sensitive for the finest flavor. Snow peas should be picked when the pods have reached maximum size and the peas within have just begun to expand. When the pods start to have a waxy sheen, it's time to harvest delicious green shell peas.
Heirloom peas as a microgreen
Vitamins A, C, and E are abundant in heirloom peas, and their anti-inflammatory effects help to prevent heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis. Peas are high in antioxidants, which help with eye health, as well as fiber, which helps with digestion. It's no surprise that heirloom peas are a choice for microgreens, given their high nutritional value.
Eden Brothers offers six varieties of peas, some heirloom, some organic—all delicious. For more information about planting, growing, and harvesting heirloom pea seeds, see the Pea Seeds Planting Guide.