Plant Your Own Peas (and Pea Shoots)

Peas. It just so happens that now (mid-to-late) March is the optimum time to plant peas in your garden. I’ve gone about planting peas over the years with great success. You have choices galore, some shells are softer, some varieties sweeter, different colors—knock yourself out. This year I’ll be direct-planting an organic tendril-climbing variety of ‘Sugar Snap‘ peas from Johnny’s Selected Seeds. And, if you play your peas right, you should expect a few weeks of harvesting bucketfuls in June.

Let’s also consider growing pea shoots. Asian kitchens and chefs have always known how delicious they are, and we Americans are starting to catch on. In less than two weeks, you can grow your very own pea shoots. Seeds are sown compactly in a growing tray (like done here), once they get past their cotyledon or true leaves, in it’s first inches the pea is considered a microgreen or pea shoot. When harvested it is completely edible and delicious. Snow or sugar snap pea varieties have hollow stems, tender leaves and delicate tendrils. Flavorful and crisp, pea shoots can be thrown into a garlicky stir-fry, or used as a garnish on sandwiches, soups or salads.

Wasatch Community Garden’s community ed director Marybeth Janerich supplied us with a very comprehensive pea-planting video via IGTV “How to Grow Peas” (below). WCG also promises to keep up more garden tutorial e-classes throughout the growing season and beyond.

WCG’s Spring Plant Sale is scheduled for May 9, 2020, and here is an update from the director of the Green Team, James Loomis:

“Up to 228 flats of plants and that’s about to skyrocket. We’ve potted up the death peppers, hot peppers, celery, and artichokes. Sweet peppers get potted up this week, and we’ll finish seeding the tomatoes in mini blocks. Greenhouse tent is working marvelously, and we’re easily holding 55-60 degrees overnight with only a tiny amount of propane, which gets easier and easier the more solar gain we are able to bank in the thermal mass of 2,640 gallons of water In 48 x 55-gallon drums stored under the tables.”

WCG, we can’t wait!!

Jen Hill
Jen Hill
Former Salt Lake Magazine Associate Editor Jen Hill is a SLC transplant from Bloomington, Ind. As a blogger and feature writer, Jen follows the pulse of the community with interests in urban agriculture, business, fitness & beauty and anything that allows her to get out of the office and into the mountains.

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