Getting started with peas in containers

Pea    NY

I am a complete gardening novice. I've never grown any of my own plants before and I don't even have a garden. I have a small balcony and would really like to grow some pea plants in containers and let them climb around the railings. I like their flowers. Everything I read says they are nice n easy so how do I get started? What size of container do they need? Can I grow more than one plant per container? What varieties would be best for a beginner? Thanks :-)

Posted by: Sophie Brooks (3 points) Sophie Brooks
Posted: February 14, 2013


Peas lend themselves very well to growing in containers as they are fast growing and require little care other than to ensure you keep the soil moist. However, they like cool soil and containers can become quite hot. So it is best to try and use the biggest container you can. As they are cool season crops, they should be grown in spring or later toward fall to ensure that high summer temperatures do not begin to limit their productivity. You should also be aware that peas require a high amount of sunlight and you should only grow them on your balcony if they will receive full sun.

The first thing you will need to do is select which varieties of pea you would like to grow. Climbing varieties include Alderman (or Telephone), Sugar Snap and there are also climbing snow pea varieties such as Chinese snow pea. You will need a container which is at least 14 inches wide and 14 inches deep but the bigger the better and you can certainly grow more than one plant per container as long as you keep them well spaced.

Fill your container with a good quality potting mix and sow peas 1 inch apart. Cover your seeds with about 2 inches of the potting mix allowing about 3 inches from the top of the container. Place the containers in an area of full sun and water the seeds so that the soil is moist but not wet. Take care not to over water the seeds as they are very prone to rot. Position the containers next to the railings of the balcony and the peas will naturally send out runners which will entwine around the rails as they grow. The plants may find it difficult to grow on a smooth surface so you may wish to help them along by providing additional trellis. Branches will work well for this and you can simply push them into the soil in your containers, providing one branch for every two plants.

Posted by: Lindsay McMenemy (2 points) Lindsay McMenemy
Posted: February 15, 2013

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