Growing Pea Shoots in Pots
Pea shoots is the perfect vegetable to grow early in the season. You can actually grow pea shoots in pots even in winter! Keep reading to learn how.
In my garden, I have a little gallery of favorites that come back every year. The same vegetables, the same way of sowing, the same way of harvesting, the same way of eating. Sometimes I forget to mention them because they are so everyday and almost boring, in a nice way. The other day, I was reminded of this when I asked everyone in the family what they want me to grow this year.
"I want... well, a lot of all our regular vegetables", said my husband Philip. "You know, the stuff we eat every day. And I want plenty of it!"
Isn't that the best thing a gardener can hear?!
As I scroll through the spring pictures in my vast photo archive on my phone, it's green all the way through. And every spring, a bunch of pea shoot pictures resurface! Pea shoots have been a family favorite from the very beginning. Many just see pea shoots as a little embellishment on the plate. In our family, pea shoots are the foundation of every salad! And now, in winter, it's time to make the first sowing out in the greenhouse. Because, yes - you can actually grow pea shoots in winter too!
Growing in a greenhouse
I have many larger pots in my greenhouse that I prepare for the spring season already in the winter. I fill them up with bokashi compost and top them off with a layer of soil. They are then ready to house the little tomatoes, peppers, melons, and other plants. But before it's time to plant these crops, I can grow pea shoots in the pots for an early first harvest!
It's so easy to grow pea shoots in pots, and I think that's why I keep forgetting to tell you about it every year.
Here's how you grow the pea shoots:
- Fill a pot (large or small) or a tray with soil.
- If it's not too cold, water the soil lightly (if it's too cold, see instructions below).
- Sprinkle yellow peas from the grocery store on the surface, close together.
- Cover with soil.
- Water a little more if the temperature is above freezing.
- If it's cold and snowy outside, you can instead put snow on top; it will melt and provide moisture to the soil.
- Put row cover or a piece of transparent plastic on top.
- Place in the greenhouse or in a cold conservatory.
So, what happens now? Well, the seeds are waiting in the soil, swelling as they prepare to sprout. Then when the soil gets warm enough, the little pea shoots emerge. This usually happens really early. Then they grow quickly, even in the cold, and are ready for harvest long before any other vegetables in the garden!
A sowing of pea shoots in my garden i did last winter went like this:
January 15 - sowing
February - germination
March 20 - first harvest
Pea shoots in pots for kids
Now that my children are older, they no longer join me in the garden as often as they used to. But when the children were younger, the large pots with pea shoots and other small vegetables were real kid magnets. The kids ate loads from these pots, grabbing big handfuls that were either shoved into their mouths or used to play with.
For those of you with small children who may not enjoy eating vegetables at the dinner table, you can try growing pea shoots and other leafy greens in pots on the ground. Perhaps your little ones will become curious and want to try it, just like mine did?
Even though the children are indeed older now, they still eat pea shoots - indoors. A tray of shoots on the dinner table quickly disappears as the teenagers munch on them in passing!
And a bonus tip for those of you with hamsters, guinea pigs or similar. Pea shoots are perfect to grow for your small animals at home!
Growing pea shoots in beds
You can grow your pea shoots many other ways too of course, both outdoors and indoors. I've previously written about growing pea shoots in raised beds. And if you have a greenhouse, I recommend planting pea shoots directly into the soil, in raised or regular beds. Simply plant the peas in rows or in larger clumps by broadcast sowing them. It's just as easy to sow the peas now in winter, if the soil is thawed. If the soil is frozen, you can lay out the peas in rows on the ground and then cover them with thawed soil.
In other words, don't forget to grow pea shoots! It's the perfect early vegetable to start your season with.
/Sara Bäckmo at Skillnaden's09. February 2024