When is the best time to plant seeds for a fall crop of snow peas?


When is the best time to plant seeds for a fall crop of snow peas? 


Liz Stanley, Horticulture Community Education Assistant

Here’s an article about growing peas in Maine Home Garden News.

All peas are cool season crops and are best planted in Maine in the early spring (as soon as the ground is workable) for a spring and early summer harvest. They can also be planted in the midsummer for a fall harvest. Peas tolerate cold temperatures but should be planted when the soil temperature reaches 450 Fahrenheit in the spring.  This usually happens in early, mid or late April in Maine. Peas grow best in a well-drained soil and set the most fruit in a full sun location. As members of the legume family they can fix nitrogen in root nodules that are formed with rhizobium bacteria. You may want to buy a rhizobium inoculant for peas to dust your seeds at planting time. This will ensure that the bacteria will be available to your crop. When the peas and rhizobium fix nitrogen, it will be available for the next vegetable that you plant after the pea season ends if you cut the peas down at the soil level and leave the roots in the ground.

Growing information From Johnny’s Selected Seeds: (If your first frost is on October 1, sow fall peas on August 1.)

FALL CROP: Variety selection is key: Choose powdery mildew-resistant varieties and early maturing varieties that will still flower in diminishing daylight. Sow about 2 months before frost. Keep seeds well-watered to encourage good germination.

If soil and air temperatures are high in early August, it can be a challenge to grow fall peas. But if you get a crop, it’s worth the effort.