How to Take Care of Pea Plants Properly

Overview

Peas, whether you are growing one of the edible pea or edible pod variety, are an easy addition to most home gardens. Peas grow along climbing vines, taking up minimal space in the garden as long as vertical supports are provided. Peas are also one of a few cool-season vegetables. By the time you are ready to bring warm-season plants to the garden, the pea harvest is complete and the room in the garden is freed up. Like other legumes, peas provide nitrogen to the soil, improving it for future crops.

Step 1

Lay a 2-inch layer of compost over the garden bed prior to planting the peas, and work it into the top 6 inches of soil. Compost aids drainage while adding nutrients. Apply a nitrogen fertilizer at half the rate recommended on the package and work it in with the compost.

Step 2

Install supports at the time of planting, as later installation can sever the shallow roots of the pea plant and kill them. Either stretch bean netting between two posts at either end of the row, or create a pea tepee by tying the ends of three stakes together and spreading the ends to form the tepee. Pea vines grow up each leg of the tepee. Pea vines climb on their own without the need for tying.

Step 3

Weed between the pea seedlings by hand, cutting weeds off at soil level with a pair of shears. Avoid pulling weeds that are too close to seedlings as this may also uproot the peas. Cut off the weed leaves as soon as possible, and the weeds will eventually die.

Step 4

Lay a 2-inch layer of mulch around the pea plants once the seedlings are 5 to 6 inches tall and beginning to climb the supports. Mulch prevents most weed growth and retains soil moisture.

Step 5

Water pea plants as needed to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Water until the soil feels moist to a 6-inch depth. Mulched pea beds often require less watering.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid planting peas in soggy soils. The seeds rot long before they have a chance to germinate.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Fertilizer
  • Supports
  • Shears
  • Mulch

References

  • Colorado State Extension: Everyone Should Grow Peas
  • University of Illinois Extension: Peas
Keywords: pea plant care, growing garden peas, cool season vegetables

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.