Food Gardening Network

Growing Good Food at Home

Essential Tools and Equipment for Growing and Enjoying Peas

Pea trellis.

Pea trellis.

Working your pea garden means having the right tools to do the job! And you need the right tools in the kitchen, too, for being able to prepare peas for your eating enjoyment!

Below is a list of items to consider. If you don’t already have some of these items, please check our Resources section at the end of this collection for some recommended suppliers for acquiring the right tools and equipment.

Pea-specific tools and equipment:

Pea Plant Support

All peas produce vines that need support as they climb. Even smaller bush-style pea plants benefit from support. Support can take the form of bamboo poles, stakes, a fence, or a trellis. You can purchase or make pea plant supports. An easy and efficient DIY way to support your peas is to interlace untreated twine between posts to form a trellis. At the end of the season, cut away the twine and toss it and the spent vines into the compost heap.

Pea Sheller

The image of sitting on a farmhouse porch, shelling peas into a big bowl is picturesque. But if you’ve harvested a lot of peas and only have a little time, you might want to invest in a pea sheller for your English peas. Just feed the pod into the sheller, crank the handle, and the peas drop out into the reservoir. This tool works for beans, too.

For the High-Tech Pea Gardener

Here are some items that are more than just “equipment”—they’re not needed for you to be an awesome pea gardener, but they can help simplify the growing process and take your garden to a whole new level!


Peas love chilly temperatures and you can take advantage of that by growing peas in an unheated greenhouse during the winter months. Snow peas and snap peas work best. Start in late September, direct sowing the pea seeds in sterile peat soil mix, and misting the soil to keep it moist until the seeds germinate. Use a soil thermometer to make sure the soil reaches at least 45 degrees F, so the seeds can germinate.

To grow the peas seedlings will need similar growing conditions as they would outdoors in the spring: at least six hours of sunlight and daytime air temperatures around 75 degrees F inside the greenhouse. Use heat mats and fans to control the daytime temperature if needed. Like garden grown peas, your greenhouse peas will need support, water, and a touch of fertilizer.

Greenhouse styles include pre-fabricated or handmade—or you can design one that includes both. A greenhouse is a big investment, but can provide you with more pea-gardening options and allow you to expand your overall garden.

Hydroponic Irrigation System

Hydroponic gardening has been growing in popularity in recent years—who knew that you can grow peas without soil! And while hydroponic gardening is a science in a lot of ways, as with all things gardening, there’s also an art to it.

According to expert gardeners, snow peas grown hydroponically taste just as good—the same—as soil-grown peas. (English peas will grow hydroponically, but only produce seeds.) So, this can be a great solution for anyone who doesn’t have easy access to land and soil.

Containers and Pots

If you want to start plants indoors before the outdoor growing season commences, you can try several environmentally friendly and free ways to begin with materials you probably already have:

  • Newspaper or brown-paper pots
  • Egg cartons
  • Toilet-paper rolls (yes, these work great!)
  • Random containers, kitchen pans, or baking sheets (you might need holes drilled into the bottom for drainage)—if you have aging or rusting kitchen pans that you’re looking to replace, they make for great “starter pots” for getting your garden launched inside
  • Starter trays and peat pots

Garden Gloves

Using a pair of garden gloves—and wearing long sleeves—when you’re tending to your plants is a good way to avoid skin irritation and to protect your fingers, hands, and arms. Get a comfortable pair of gloves that fit well, so you still have full dexterity in your garden.

Garden Trowel

A useful garden tool, the garden trowel is handy when filling your containers and when mixing compost and worm castings. Avoid cheap versions that can have flimsy handles that are prone to break. Even inferior metal trowels can bend in hard clay or rocky soil. Invest in a higher quality trowel, and you’ll have it for years!

Irrigation Equipment

Many plants thrive when watered slowly and deeply. While tedious and even sometimes difficult to do with a watering can, you might want to consider an irrigation method for keeping your plants slowly and deeply watered.

A standard sprinkler system is not the best solution—while easy to set up, the wide-ranging water coverage of a sprinkler can lead to wet plant leaves that promote diseases and can encourage weeds.

A drip-watering irrigation system that operates on a timer is one of the best irrigation solutions for watering plants. This type of system better controls how much water you use, minimizes water lost to evaporation, and more exactly directs water to where you want to soak your soil. While more expensive than a simple watering can, an investment in an irrigation system can pay off—specially to ensure proper watering when you’re at work or on vacation!

Pruners or Snippers

Wear your garden gloves while pruning, and be sure to get a set of pruners or snippers that are comfortable in your hand when cutting. Don’t skimp on this—you need something that cuts well and will endure through many seasons.

Rain Barrel

Some areas of the country experience drought conditions in the spring and summer, and some municipalities may impose watering bans; that means hand watering only. If you collect rainwater, you can put it to good use when it comes time to tend your plants. Some communities offer rain barrels at a special discount to encourage water conservation.


Every gardener—no matter what plants you’re tending—needs a spade, or even several of different sizes. Use your spade to move around compost, dig soil for your initial plant hole, and to keep your garden soil tidy.

Spray Pump or Bottle

To control the emergence or spread of plant diseases and pests, get a dedicated spray bottle for your potion to do the job. This is one thing you can go basic on—no need for anything fancy, as a simple plastic spray bottle is fine.

Watering Can

Watering cans allow you to better control exactly where the water is directed in your garden. Plant leaves and fruit don’t need water, the roots in the soil do. Get yourself a good-sized watering can, and have some fun finding a watering can with an interesting design that fits your personality. Also, you want one that has a comfortable grip.


A wheelbarrow makes it easy for you to move soil and mulch from plant to plant; and it works as an excellent mixing bowl when you’re combining the perfect soil blend. If you feel like a wheelbarrow is just a little over the top for your gardening needs, a 5-gallon bucket may suffice. Just make sure you have a good trowel to mix with.

Do you have any essential gardening tools you use that aren’t listed here? Please tell us which items you absolutely need for your gardening.

Do you have any essential gardening tools you use that aren’t listed here? Please tell us which items you absolutely need for your pea plant gardening.


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