how many pea plants for a decent harvest?

pieheart(6)June 24, 2007

I planted about a dozen English pea plants, figured I'd get enough peas for a couple of meals. I doubt that I'll get enough for one meal (family of four).

I also planted close to two dozen snap pea plants, again I'm not getting a lot of peas/plant.

So how many plants do you all put in? I'm not interested in freezing or processing the peas, just want to get a few meals out of them. It's a hobby garden.


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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Hi pieheart - Peas take up a lot of room to produce much - one reason why so many home gardeners give up on them. ;) I plant 2 50 foot rows each spring and that gives us several meals plus some to freeze so I'd guess 1 30-50' row or the equivalent would be enough for your family.

But from a dozen plants I would have thought you'd get more than you apparently have. Were they planted early enough? That is usually early March for Zone 6 - in time for last harvest by the end of May or 1st week in June. They will tolerate a frost or even snow but won't tolerate heat at all and once it gets warm their production really slows or even stops.

Another thing that can reduce production is the use of high nitrogen fertilizers. Legumes manufacture their own nitrogen and supplementing it gets you lots of plant but little production.

Hope this helps. ;)


    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 4:37PM
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Thanks Dave for your response! I planted around the end of March, the ground was still frozen at the beginning of March.

I really should harvest then, I guess? Maybe peas aren't a good idea for the small garden that I have. I didn't fertilize at all, just used composted manure (bags from Lowes).

I guess I'll stick to green beans. So far the pole beans I planted are as tall as the poles (6 feet), no sign of flowers, but I think they are just around the corner. Do the vines stop growing so much once they get flowers? What do you do when the vines are as long as their supports? I've only grown bush beans in previous years, kind of learning as I go.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 6:49PM
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tomakers(SE MA Zone 5/6 or ?)

I plant my peas in a wide row(about 6") and only space them about 2" apart(if that). This way you can get a good crop in a smaller area, and they tend to support themselves.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 12:59AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Composted manure is too high in N for peas or beans so that may explain why you have lots of bean plant with no blooms yet too. I just let them drape back down the support if they get too tall and eventually they will switch to production but it will likely be limited. The old joke that "pole beans will grow on a gravel road" isn't THAT far off base. ;) They just don't tolerate fertilizers.

Tomakers has good point on how to compact your pea planting in the small garden. It is well worth trying...only skip the manure next year.


    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 6:09PM
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