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Peas

DescriptionPlanting DatesVarietiesNutritionPDF
The SHELLING PEA has a fibrous, stringy pod with sweet plump peas. It takes many plants to give enough peas for a good sized harvest. Pods are picked when the peas are filled out and before the pods become mottled or yellow. The peas, when over mature, lose their sweet flavor and become starchy. Some of the better hybrids are: Maestro (61 days) with 11 peas in each pod, Wando (68 days) takes heat so you might try it in March, Novella (70) days is a dwarf, semi leafless and prolific, Green Arrow (70 days), Burpeeana Early (63 days) or Alaska (55 days), a smooth seed type that germinates better in wet soil. All of the maturity dates listed are based on spring planting. Fall planting and slower winter growth will extend maturity dates.

The CHINESE OR SNOW PEA that we know from Chinese cooking, must be picked when the pea is immature. The pods can be fibrous and "grassy tasting." Some of the tall varieties are very prolific and need daily picking. Some of the recommended varieties from local field testing are: Mammoth Melting Sugar (90) days, very large pods, prolific; Dwarf White Sugar (60 days) early, large harvest; Dwarf Grey Sugar (80 days), very prolific, good mildew resistance. A new Park Seed Co. introduction (1996) is Short 'N Sweet (50 days), a snow pea with vines only 30 inches tall. Wait until October to plant. Oregon Giant (60 days), 2 foot vines, high sugar pod, tolerant of powdery mildew.

The SNAP PEA, a generally different pea from the snow pea, was developed by a plant breeder in Idaho in the early 1970s. It was awarded the All American Selection for vegetables in 1981 under the name of Sugar Snap. Since its introduction, many variations of the snap pea have been developed to improve the characteristics. Sugar Daddy, a 1985 introduction, is stringless; Sugar Bon is a dwarf variety and early. There are now several varieties of snap peas from which to choose. All have the typical sweet, oval, fleshy pod with large sweet peas inside.

 





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