Growing Edible Pea Shoots

By Susan Littlefield

Pea shoots from any edible type of pea plant (English, snow, or sugar snap) add color and a subtle flavor to spring salads and stir fries. Harvest your first crop as you thin your pea planting when the shoots are 4-6 inches tall. Clip the tops from the remaining plants when they reach about a foot tall, cutting off the top 3-6 inches, making the cut right above a leaf. The shoots will regrow and in a week to 10 days you can harvest again. You'll usually be able to get 3-5 cuttings from a planting. If you just cut the shoots once and let them grow, the vines will go on to mature and produce pods, although it will take longer for them to begin bearing. If you want a continued harvest of pea shoots and you keep cutting the plants, they won't mature and produce pods. Some gardeners plant a small patch of peas just for harvesting the shoots.

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