The Q&A Archives: Sowing Peas For Fall Crop

Question: I have a community garden & am planning on planting peas for the fall. Fellow gardeners have told me they have
bad luck with fall peas but I'm still going to try. I have "Snowbird" and "Maestro" which are both recommended for fall. I prepared an area by working in a SMALL amount of well rotted manure, a good amount of grass clippings
(the soil was pretty heavy & tends to compact),and a good sprinkling of dried blood and bone meal- all worked into
the top 4 inches. Im going to soak the seeds 24 hrs. and inoculate them. ( I don't know whether or not there have
been peas in this area before, it's my first time in the community garden) Is there anything special I need to
do to have success with a fall crop? What would cause my fellow gardeners to have good spring crops and
bad luck in the fall?

Answer: It sounds as though you're all prepared and ready to grow a fall crop of peas. Pea seeds germinate best at soil temperatures of 50F - 77F degrees and will emerge in 6-14 days when sown about one inch deep and one inch apart. Standard germination rate for peas is about 80 percent. Since peas grow best in cooler temperatures, perhaps your gardening friends have planted too early for a fall crop. Peas take from 75 to 120 days to mature, depending upon variety. (Maestro matures in 110 days, Snowbird in 58 days.)You can harvest right up until frost, so count back the number of weeks from your usual first frost of the season, add about a week for germination and plant on the target date for the variety you're growing. Keep the seedbed moist until the plants emerge, and be very productive. Good luck with your garden!

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