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Thursday, February 9, 2012

KNOL: Planting Peas in Large Containers

Transfered From Google Knols to be stored on my blog.

Peas are outstanding cool weather crops. They can be put in the garden as soon as the soil can be worked. I like growing my peas in containers. They grow great in large containers and container gardening lets me get them started before my garden is ready.

Planting Peas in Large Containers

By Gary Pilarchik LCSW-C
Visit my blog for daily gardening pictures and ideas at The Rusted Vegetable Garden.


Finally! The day weather is warmer and even though the nights are still frosting, I can start my container garden. I am starting my cool weather garden with peas in a large container or two.

I planted 2 varieties of peas. One is a dwarf 2 foot vine of the sugar pod variety. The other is a full growing vine with stringless pods. I highly recommend stringless pods. You can find all kinds of pea seeds at your local stores.

Step One: Set up a 10 to 18 gallon container

This is an 18 gallon container. I use it for peas and greens early in the season and then I use it for a tomato plant. Make sure you poke some holes in the container. I typically measure up about an inch from the bottom and put two large holes on opposite sides. This allows for ample drainage. Mud is bad.
Fill the container with a good quality garden soil or mix of your choice.
Finally, put something in the containers for the pea vines to grow up. I am using a tomato cage and some stakes. The stakes will be anchors that I will string, as the peas mature. This container is getting dwarf peas. The vines should be managed fine with the supports I put in.


Step Two: Plant your peas (Dwarf)

I am using an 18 gallon container. You can use something smaller. The key is to have good depth to your container. The smaller the container, the less peas you can plant across the surface. The peas going in here are a dwarf variety called Sugar Sprint.

Peas aren't difficult to plant. You don't need to do much more but supply the soil. They make their own nitrogen and do well in most loose decently drained soils. You can really mess them up!  You can see the peas are spaced about 3-4 inches apart. The packets say seed every 2 inches and then thin to 6 inches. With raised beds you can grow things much closer. This container provides the peas with a lot of depth for root development. It is like a raised bed because the soil is so loose. The roots of each plant can grow quite deep. There is less competion for space.

The peas were pushed down (with my finger) to about 1 1/2  to 2 inches. They got a good watering. I am done with peas. It is that quick and easy.


Step Three: Plant your peas (Standard)

This variety is Goliath. They grow large vines. I am using a tomato cage, some taller stakes, and the fence behind the container to support them. The spacing for these seeds is at least 4 inches and I only put 4 seeds to a row instead of 5 like I did above. That is because these peas are not dwarf varieties.

Not all the peas will come up. If you are worred about them being over-crowded you can thin them as the packages directs you. If you have a lot of growing depth for the plants and they get 8 hours or more of sun, you can worry less about thining. Enjoy!

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