Growing peas in a raised bed starts with selecting a spot that gets full sun to partial sun. Then, you need to pick your preferred pea varieties, create a rich soil mix, and add trellises. After that, plant your seeds and water them deeply. Repeat the deep watering sessions every week. Begin harvesting your peas about three weeks after flowers appear. For best results, plant your peas 2 inches ( 5 cm) apart in a 24-inch-deep (60 cm) raised bed.
7 Steps to Plant Peas in a Raised Bed
Peas always feel rewarding to grow after getting a taste of their fresh pods and seeds. So, take the time to get it right and enjoy fresh veggies in the spring and again in the fall. Growing peas in a raised bed is easy if you follow these 7 steps.
Pick a Full to Partial Sun Location
Pick a full sun location for your pea plants. Partial sun can work, too, but less sunlight can lead to slower growth. All varieties of peas prefer to get at least 6–8 hours of sunlight per day. You will get the biggest harvests by giving your peas the maximum amount of sun daily. In the right conditions, each 10-foot (3 meters) row of plants could produce up to 5 pounds (2 kg) of peas.
Select Your Preferred Pea Varieties
Use your gardening goals to select the pea varieties you want to grow. Garden peas produce round, ripe seeds, but their pods are not edible. Snap peas have both edible seeds and pods. Snow peas produce flat pods that get harvested before the seeds grow. Also known as cowpeas, field peas usually only get used as a cover crop in the winter. There are hundreds of distinct varieties within those four categories.
Create your Own Rich Soil Mix
Create your own rich soil mix to help your peas grow fast and produce big harvests. Combine 50% vegetable soil, 40% compost, 5% aged manure, and 5% perlite. Add at least 24 inches (60 cm) of soil to the bed. Use this pH meter to confirm the soil sits in the 6–7.5 range. If not, correct it. Add pelleted agricultural limestone to increase the pH and aluminum sulfate to lower it.
Add a Trellis for the Peas to Climb
Add a trellis that is 6–8 feet (2–2.5 meters) tall for your peas to climb. Set up the trellis right in the middle of the garden bed. You can use this high-quality trellis. Or make your own trellis using chicken wire, strings, or bamboo. Found materials, like untreated pallets, hula hoops, and even old garden hoses, can work as well.
Plant Your Seeds at the Right Time
Plant your seeds in early spring to get a full harvest before high temperatures arrive. In most areas, you can plant your peas up to a month before the last frost date. You can grow another set of peas in the fall if you live in a warm area. Soak your seeds overnight before your planting date. Then, create a mounded row on either side of the trellis. Push your pea seeds 1 inch (2.5 cm) into the soil and space them 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Cover the seeds with soil and water them deeply.
Follow a Weekly Watering Schedule
Water your peas deeply once per week. Your plants will need about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water per week to fully reach all the roots. Give your plants water on the same day and time each week if possible. Skip a week if it rains a lot. Increase your watering sessions if high temperatures dry out the soil. Peas do not like overly wet soil. So, check the moisture level with your finger or this soil moisture meter before watering.
Harvest the Ripe Peas When Ready
Start harvesting your peas 3 weeks after the flowers set. Pick one that looks done and taste it to see if it’s ready. Then, pick the rest of your peas when they match the first one in size and looks. You’ll definitely want to check your peas daily for harvestable pods. Otherwise, the pods could get too tough to eat.
When grown in home gardens, peas produce a bright, fresh flavor you cannot find in grocery stores. So, taking the time to get it right is well worth the effort.
How Close Can You Plant Peas in a Raised Bed?
In raised beds, plant peas 2 inches (5 cm) apart along the row. You can run one row along each side of the trellis. Then, the vines will spread out along the trellis surface as they grow.
- Plant your peas 2 inches (5 cm) apart along each row in your raised bed.
- Put one row along each side of a central trellis.
- The pea vines will space themselves out while growing up the trellis.
- For even more peas, plant additional rows along the outside of the raised bed.
- The outside rows should sit 12 inches (30 cm) from the central ones and have their own trellis.
Want more peas? Plant additional rows of peas along the outside edges of the raised bed. Just make sure the rows sit at least 12 inches (30 cm) away from the middle row. Remember to add more trellises to the outside of the beds as well.
How Deep Does a Raised Bed Need to Be for Peas?
Peas grow best in raised beds that are at least 24 inches (60 cm) deep. Pea plants grow a long taproot that reaches up to 24 inches (60 cm) down. Many lateral roots come out of the taproot as the plant grows larger.
- Peas grow strong when given at least 24 inches (60 cm) of soil in their raised beds.
- Pea plants produce a long taproot with many lateral roots attached.
- New or freshly tilled soil works best in promoting fast pea plant growth.
- Loose soil helps your plants quickly get to the fruit production stage.
Peas appreciate new or freshly tilled soil to grow in. This allows them to grow strong roots without wasting energy. You’ll be rewarded by a fast-growing plant that starts producing fruit early and often.
How Do You Plant Peas in a Raised Bed?
Planting peas in raised beds is best accomplished by following these steps:
- Select a garden bed that gets full to partial sun.
- Pick your favorite varieties of peas to grow.
- Create a soil mix suitable for growing peas.
- Add a 6–8-foot-tall (2–2.5 meters) trellis near the bed.
- Plant your seeds in the garden beds and water deeply.
- Water your pea plants on a weekly schedule.
- Harvest your peas 3 weeks after flowering starts.
When you take the right approach to growing peas, you’ll get flavorful harvests all spring and into the beginning of summer. If you live in a warm area, you can plant a second crop in the fall to continue enjoying wonderfully fresh veggies.