Growing Split Peas With Care & Attention

Written by: Lars Nyman

Growing Split Peas

Growing Split Peas

Split Peas are a member of the legume family, and have a mild, earthy flavor. They are revered for their high protein content and their ease of preparation - simply soak, then simmer in a pot of water until tender. Split Peas are commonly used in soups, stews, casseroles, and loaves, and their mild flavor mixes well with more robust flavors like garlic, onion, and herbs & spices.

Cheatsheet: Growing Split Peas With Care & Attention

🌱 Choose the Right Soil

🏞️ Loamy soil with good drainage and pH 6-7 works best.

πŸ’§ Provide Adequate Water

πŸ’¦ Keep soil moist, but not waterlogged, to ensure healthy growth.

β˜€οΈ Optimal Sun Exposure

🌞 Plant in a sunny spot to maximize yield and nourish the plants.

βœ‚οΈ Pruning Tips

πŸ”ͺ Regularly trim off yellow or dead leaves to promote better growth.

πŸ’ͺ Support Growing Plants

🌾 Stake or trellis plants to prevent bending and ensure proper support.

🌑️ Monitor Temperature

🌑️ Split peas flourish in cool temperatures between 60-70°F.

🌧️ Rain vs. Irrigation

πŸ’§ Consistent irrigation is preferable as heavy rain can lead to splitting.

🌼 Blooming & Pollination

🐝 Attract pollinators by planting flowers nearby to aid in successful pollination.

🍽️ Harvesting Time

βœ‚οΈ Harvest when about 80% of pods are dry for maximum flavor and nutrition.

πŸ’‘ Did You Know?

  • With 26g of protein per cooked cup, split peas are a nutritious choice.
  • Split peas are also rich in iron, fiber, and B-vitamins.
  • They are a great low-cost option for self-sufficient home gardening.

Growing Split Peas With Care & Attention

The Basics

Split peas, typically green or yellow, are incredibly nutritious and versatile. They thrive in most temperate climates with minimal fuss.

But don’t be fooled by their simplicity; growing split peas requires precision. Start with high-quality seeds for the best yield.

According to agricultural studies, selecting disease-resistant varieties can increase yield by up to 30%.

Plant the seeds directly in your garden. They prefer cool weather, so sow them early in spring or late in summer.

Soil and Location

Choose a sunny location with well-drained soil. Split peas are not very fussy about soil, but they perform best in a slightly acidic to neutral pH range.

Turn the soil and incorporate organic matter. Compost or well-rotted manure works wonders.

In my experience, adding compost not only boosts growth but also makes the soil easier to work with.
  1. Test your soil pH. Aim for a pH of 6 to 7.
  2. Mix in compost or manure to enrich the soil.
  3. Ensure the area gets at least 6 hours of sunlight daily.

Planting and Care

Sow seeds 1-2 inches apart, in rows 2 inches deep. Space the rows 18-24 inches apart.

Water the seeds well after planting. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.

Watch for pests. Aphids and spider mites love split peas as much as we do.

Using Neem oil has always been my go-to organic method for pest control. It’s safe and effective.

Pole support may be necessary. Split peas tend to climb, and supporting them can prevent tangled messes and promote better air circulation.

  • Keep a consistent watering schedule.
  • Check for signs of pests regularly.
  • Weed diligently to reduce competition for nutrients.

Harvesting

Harvest split peas when the pods are firm and slightly dry. Ideally, they will snap easily when bent.

Allow the peas to dry completely before shelling for long-term storage.

For peak flavor and texture, harvest when there's minimal moisture in the pods β€” typically late morning or early afternoon on a dry day.

Remember, you can eat these fresh or dried. Both forms are delectable in an array of recipes.

FAQ

1. When is the best time to plant split peas?

The best time to plant split peas is in early spring when the soil has warmed up.

2. Do split peas require a lot of space to grow?

No, split peas do not require a lot of space. They can be grown in small gardens or containers.

3. How often should split peas be watered?

Split peas should be watered regularly, keeping the soil evenly moist.

4. Can split peas tolerate frost?

Yes, split peas can tolerate mild frost. However, it is best to protect them during colder spells.

5. Do split peas require support while growing?

Yes, split peas need support such as trellises or stakes to grow upright and prevent them from bending or breaking.

6. How long does it take for split peas to mature?

Split peas typically take 90 to 100 days to mature and be ready for harvest.

7. Can split peas be grown in pots indoors?

No, split peas are not suitable for indoor growing as they require abundant sunlight to thrive.

Split Peas are an easy, nutritious and affordable option for gardeners looking to grow their own food. They are packed with protein, complex carbohydrates, potassium, magnesium, and fiber. Split Peas are a hardy annual that can easily be grown in most regions and are an easy crop to harvest and store. Split Peas can also be used in a number of recipes, adding a unique and delicious flavor to meals.

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