When the temperatures drop in autumn, that's the time for planting peas. That includes snow peas and podded peas for the kitchen as well as colourful fragrant sweet peas.
Find a nice sunny spot and prepare the soil by digging it over to a spades depth and mixing through a few buckets of aged compost. If your pH is below 6, add some lime too. That’ll help to sweeten the soil and create the sort of conditions that make peas thrive.
Before you get planting, you need to set up a frame for your peas to climb on. In my garden, I’ve propped up an old galvanised fence panel with a couple of star pickets. That makes a solid support, but you could also run a few wires up a timber fence, that would work fine. I have also arranged a few long bamboo poles to form a kind of teepee and that’ll make an attractive structure for my colourful sweet peas.
The sugar snap variety are my favourite of the edible peas because you can eat them, pods n all.
When planting, be aware, the seeds are very prone to rotting. The trick is to just push them in about 5-10 mm below the surface, not too deep and water them in well but don’t water them again until they are up and growing. Avoid planting them when there is a lot of wet weather about.
For more on growing and harvesting peas, check the ABC Organic Gardener Essential Guide to Vegies A-Z
First published: April 2011