The Q&A Archives: PlantingTime and Preservation for Peas

Question: I have never planted peas before and would like to know if it's too late to plant them. Also, what would be the best kind for winter storage, such as canning or freezing.

Answer: It's not to late, though with the strange weather El Nino's throwing our way this year, I can't say how long it will remain cool enough for good pea growth. They prefer the cool temperatures of spring and early summer, and are usually spent by the end of July/Early August. If you haven't already purchased seed, choose a variety that matures quickly. Keep soil cool for longer by mulching well with newspaper covered with straw after the peas have sprouted.

Peas keep their flavor best when picked just before peak maturity, while they're still sweet, and frozen. Blanch shelled or unshelled peas for a couple of minutes in boiling water, then plunge them into ice water until they're completely cool before draining, and pack them in freezer bags or boxes. They're best eaten within 4-5 months, though at the end of a long winter, home-grown and frozen peas still taste better than any you can buy! Enjoy.

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