Peas of all kinds are always a nice treat. They grow nicely in our climate and shelled peas freeze well for eating all winter long. I typically grow a couple of beds of shelling peas and just a few sugar peas for snacking (often in the garden) or snow peas for stir frys.
Because of my unique garden arrangement with the tall raised beds topped with hoops for covering with shade cloth or plastic, I only grow varieties with short vines that do not need to be trellised. These peas that range 2-3 feet drape over the sides of the beds.
Outdoors, I typically sow the seeds in the ground around May 1, and can begin harvesting around August 1. Most of the peas advertise 60-65 days to maturity, but mine here are closer to 80 days.
COMPANIONS: Companions for peas are bush beans, pole beans, carrots, celery, chicory, corn, cucumber, eggplant, parsley, early potato, radish, spinach, strawberry, sweet pepper, tomatoes and turnips. I typically plant my peas with either carrots or beets. The peas go along the edge of the beds in two rows with carrots or beets up the center. Since the peas dangle over the edge of the bed, the beets & carrots are still exposed to the sun and easy to reach.
Green Arrow OP (65 Days) | DTH: 80 | These grow nicely for me every year. Abundant harvests which continue August through September.
Maestro OP (60 Days) | DTH: 72-80, depending on when sown. Those sown later were harvested more quickly. Another winner, just a tad earlier to spread out the harvest. Abundant harvests which continue August through September.
Oregon Sugar Pod II OP (70 Days) | DTH: 75-ish. Must pick these frequently to avoid peas that get too large!
LESS FAVORITE VARIETIES
Lincoln OP (67 Days) The year that I tried these they did not sprout well. I was disappointed with the small harvest.
PLS 560 OP (60 Days) One year I tried these peas, which are considered to be “bush-habited plants”. I thought it might be a good choice for my tall raised beds. I’ve read things like, “A strong-stemmed variety – it holds upright throughout the season, making harvest quick and very rewarding” to describe these peas. I found them more difficult to harvest: the stringy tendrils had a tendency to get the plants all twangled together. The peas were fine, but not as plentiful, and I just didn’t care for these.