Vegetable Gardening in Mississippi
Pea (English, Snap, Snow)
English peas require early spring planting in order to mature before warm weather destroys them. Prepare the planting site in fall by adding all fertilizer except nitrogen. Prepare a high bed so that planting is possible when the rest of the garden may be too wet.
Some varieties of English peas have smooth seeds and others have wrinkled seeds. Smooth-seeded peas have a starchy flavor, even when young, and are used mostly for canning. Wrinkled-seeded peas are sweet when young and are slower to lose quality.
Soil temperatures at planting should be at least 45 °F for good germination. Plant seeds 1 inch deep and 1 inch apart. Allow 8 to 10 inches between double rows. Some form of support makes harvesting easier and keeps vines off the ground, reducing losses to pod rot. Tall varieties must be supported. Double rows of short vine types support themselves. Mulch to keep soil around roots cool and moist.
Grow sugar peas (snow peas) the same way as English peas. Harvest edible pods while still young and tender, and before peas enlarge. Edible-podded peas are also grown like English peas. Plants and pods resemble English peas, but the pods as well as the enlarged peas are eaten together without shelling. Sugar Snap, a 1979 AAS Gold Medal winner, has tall vines that require support. More recently developed varieties have short vines.