Peas come in two main varieties, those that are grown for the edible peas and those that are grown for the edible pods, such as sugar and snow peas. Peas are a cool-season crop; their bounty is often the first harvested in spring. They are prolific; the more often you pick peas, the more the plant will produce. Directly seed peas in the garden once the ground has thawed enough to be worked in spring. Peas tolerate light frosts but should be planted after danger of hard frosts have passed.
Choose a well-drained, rich garden bed with full sun. Work in enough compost to raise the planting area 3 inches to improve drainage and soil quality.
Sow peas 1.5 inches deep and 2 inches apart. Plant in double rows, 3 to 6 inches apart. For multiple rows, space each set of double rows 2 feet apart, so there is room between to install a support.
Place a support or trellis behind each double row at the time of planting. Insert the support 8 inches or more into the soil so it doesn't collapse under the weight of the peas.
Water the bed at planting. Keep soil moist but not soaking wet; there should be no standing water. Apply a 2-inch layer of organic mulch over the bed to preserve soil moisture, regulate temperature and prevent weeds.
Guide the first young vines onto the support structure if they do not begin growing up the trellis on their own.
Harvest edible pod varieties when the peas inside are barely apparent and the pods are approximately 2 inches long. Harvest edible seed varieties when the seeds are firm inside the pod.