QUESTION: How do you help peas grow? Can you make pea plants grow faster? -Ted H.
ANSWER: There are several ways that you can help peas grow more efficiently. One tip to successful pea growing is to make sure that your garden soil is draining well, as one of the few issues that plague pea farmers is seed rot. Avoid growing peas in wet areas where pea seeds may rot before they have a chance to germinate. If necessary, put in a little bit of extra work and raise the bed six to eight inches high in order to provide peas with a well-drained planting site.
Another way that you can help your peas grow and produce pods at an optimal level is to amend the soil a bit before planting to ensure that there is adequate nutrients in the soil before you plant your pea seeds. To give your peas a boost before planting, turn over the beds and add in two to three inches of compost to the soil in the fall before planting the following spring.
Manure can also be used to amend the beds, but composed is preferred, as manure is typically high in nitrogen and peas have the ability to produce their own nitrogen. Another way to boost the soil prior to planting is to add wood ashes or bonemeal to the soil before sowing seed to provide your peas with extra phosphorus and potassium without boosting nitrogen levels, which will cause your pea plants to focus on foliage growth instead of on producing flowers and pods.
A key way to help your pea plants grow and produce pods in abundance is to provide a support structure which they can use to wrap around and reach their optimal heights. Prepare supports ahead of time keeping in mind the mature height of the pea variety that you are growing, which should be listed on the seed packet. Once germinated, peas will climb a fence or trellis to anywhere between two and eight feet tall, depending on the variety.