The Podded Pea

Pea Seedlings in the Sun

Being one of the earliest movers on a vegetable patch, peas are often a symbol of anticipation and excitement for hopeful gardeners each spring. Inquisitive tendrils reach out in search of something to grip on tight to, creating a maze of green.

June - the month when summer officially starts – is when the real action happens. The peas explode into a bonanza of flowers and pods, transforming themselves into pea-production machines growing new fresh peas daily.

The podded pea is our favourite June vegetable.


Peas have a fantastic ability to grow on the cold spring days when the other vegetables shiver, meaning they are a brilliant early crop. They can be planted out in March or April for a June harvest, and can even be ‘over wintered’ – planted late autumn and left out all winter – for the earliest harvest of the lot.

However, this does not mean they should not be considered later in the year as well. If space is not a concern, successional sowings every 2 weeks or month can result in a continuous supply of peas from late spring all the way through to late in the autumn.

We like to soak our peas in water for 24hrs – it helps speed up the germination process – before sowing them in rows for maximum access to the peas.

Most varieties of pea like to have something to climb up (which can be as simple as some twiggy branches). However, there are a number of dwarf varieties – such as the Kelvedon Wonder variety we grow – which stay small enough not to need support.

peas growing on a balcony


Peas taste best when the pods are ~1cm across, and the peas themselves are small and succulent. If they grow bigger, they lose their fresh sweet taste, and the texture becomes a bit floury.

Peas should be continuously harvested – this will keep the plant focussing on producing more and more peas for you, rather than wasting energy growing peas which are too big to taste good.

Harvest the peas by picking (or snipping) off whole pods from the plant. Once back inside, pop the pods open by squeezing the bottom end of the pod between your thumb and forefinger. Open them up and claim your prize of peas inside!

peas harvest sprout vegetables


Fresh peas from the garden are just delicious.

In our opinion, you cannot beat blanching them in boiling water and adding to freshly picked salad leaves, mint, a squeeze of lemon, a drizzle of olive oil, and if you are lucky, blanched asparagus, for a super fresh green garden salad.

Peas are also great smashed on toast for brunch, offering a fabulous local alternative to the avocado if you are looking to cut down on your food-miles.

Finally, if you are looking to impress, fresh peas make the most amazing vibrant green soup, which you can serve with some crusty bread for a posh lunch or a colourful starter at a dinner party.

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