Depth & Spacing to Plant Peas

Grown from pods or green seeds, snow peas, garden peas and snap peas are cold-hardy annuals that thrive in loose, rich soil. Peas also demand a sturdy climbing structure and therefore are ready for harvest in just 54 to 70 days after planting, depending on the range. For the highest quality, eat or freeze your peas quickly after harvesting.

Soil and Site

Peas will grow in many different soil types, even though some are more effective than others. For instance, inadequate aeration and bad drainage related to heavier clay soils may result in stem and root decay. If planting in sandy soil, pay close attention to the pea’s growth and water more often. Sandy soil is also warmer, and may result in a previous harvest. For optimum growth, the Sonoma County Master Gardeners recommends amending loose soil with compost prior to planting.


Plant your peas in single or double rows spaced at least 12 to 18 inches apart. Spacing the pea seeds to four inches apart allows for decent growth. Because of pea’s notoriously bad germination rates, which is around 60 to 80 percent, University of California-Santa Cruz Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems recommends sowing at least 12 to 15 pea seeds per square foot.


Plant your pea seeds at a depth of 1 inch. Prepare the holes ahead of time and set the pea seeds in before refilling with the surrounding soil. The Sonoma County Master Gardeners recommends sowing peas anytime between late November and late February, and also to enjoy a longer growing season, distribute your planting every two weeks.


The appropriate time to harvest your peas depends upon the variety. For instance, wait to pick garden peas until the forks appear around and swollen. Experiment by picking a few garden pea pods each and every one to two days and opening up them. If the peas inside feel company, they’re ready for your kitchen table. The Sonoma County Master Gardeners recommends unloading snap and snow peas earlier, or prior to the forks are fully matured and the peas inside feel smaller. In the event of snow peas, wait five to seven days following flowering before harvesting the pods.

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