Winter Peas Growing Guide

Winter Peas, also known as Austrian Peas

Crop Rotation Group

Legumes (Pea and Bean family) 

Soil

Any average, well drained soil.

Position

Full sun.

Frost tolerant

A cool-season annual, winter field peas (Austrian peas), can tolerate heavy frost but are killed by temperatures below 0to -10F (-17 to -23C). In the US, they are rated as hardy to Zone 7.

Feeding

When using winter field peas to improve very poor soil, mixing a balanced organic fertilizer into the soil before planting will give better results.

Companions

Wheat, Rye and Oats.

Spacing

Single Plants: 3" (10cm) each way (minimum)
Rows: 3" (10cm) with 7" (20cm) row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Poke holes in prepared seedbed and plant seeds 1 to 2 inches (3 to 5 cm) deep. Gaps between plants can be filled with an upright grain.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalized calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.

Notes

Primarily grown to increase soil nitrogen. Highly recommended as a winter cover crop to go before sweet corn because of its vigorous nitrogen-fixing activity in early spring. Very low weedy potential compared to other cover crops.

Harvesting

For maximum nitrogen gain, chop plants down and turn them under as soon as they begin to bloom. You also can pull up the plants and compost them.

Troubleshooting

Allow at least 3 weeks after turning under winter pea residue before direct-seeding vegetables, because the rotting vegetation can cause an increase in damping off of seedlings.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Winter Peas