Garden peas are usually picked while they are still slightly immature and tender for use fresh or for preserving canned or frozen. If you wish to save the pea seeds for use as a dried pea or as seed stock, you must allow them to mature before curing them. Curing peas is the act of drying them properly for later use. Proper drying prevents rot and fungus on the pea seeds, ensuring they remain healthy until you are ready to cook or replant them.
Determine which pea plant is producing the healthiest and best-tasting pea seeds and pods. Leave the pods on this plant to fully mature. Save peas from several healthy plants to help ensure genetic diversity if you are saving seeds for planting.
Pick the pea pods after they dry and begin to turn brown. Ripe seeds rattle inside the pod when they are shaken.
Spread the pods out in a warm, dry room away from direct sunlight. Leave them to dry for two more weeks.
Split open the pods and remove the pea seeds. Dispose of any that are shriveled or damaged.
Place the cured peas in a plastic bag and seal it if you are saving the seeds for eating. Place them in an envelope or jar and label it with the year harvested if you are saving them to plant. Store in a cool, dry place until you are ready to use them.