QUESTION: Do peas need to climb? Should I build a trellis? -Carla W.
ANSWER: The kind of support you will need to use for your pea plants will vary based on the variety of peas that you are growing. There are many different varieties of peas, but all of them fit within two distinct categories: bush peas and climbing peas.
All peas benefit from some kind of support to grow upon. Though bush peas only grow to two or three feet tall, without support, they will flop onto the ground where they will be more susceptible to pest and disease issues. Climbing peas reach heights of six to eight feet when grown correctly, and will need a tall and sturdy support system, such as a trellis, to continue growing upwards, as they prefer to do.
Peas climb with one inch tendrils that they wrap around any object that is less than a quarter inch thick. A trellis made from string, twine, netting, or wire mesh, with a grid no less than one square inch, will all work well for pea plants. For the highest possible yield, plant peas on both sides of the trellis.