Food Gardening Network

Growing Good Food at Home

Choosing to Grow Peas from Seeds or Seedlings

Pea seedlings.

Pea seedlings.

Getting your pea plant garden started begins with the choice of how to grow your plants—from seeds or seedlings? Although you might be tempted to go with seedlings, pea plants do better if you sow the seeds directly into the ground. Why? Because young pea plants are very fragile—they often don’t survive the transplanting process.

Because peas are cool weather plants, you only need to wait until the soil is pliable and about 45 degrees before planting your seeds. The timing varies depending on your climate, but plan to plant four to six weeks before the last spring frost date in your area. A light amount of snowfall or frost will not harm your pea crop, but heavy rains or melting ice can make the soil too soggy, leading to rot.

If your spring weather is unpredictable, consider covering your pea plants with a cold frame to protect them. Cold frames are easy to make yourself, but you can also purchase them ready-made online or at your local garden store.

Have you tried growing peas from seeds, seedlings, or both? Which method do you prefer—and why? Please tell us how you get your pea garden started every year.

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