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How Peas Are Grown

Peas are a staple vegetable in many of our diets, but not everyone knows how peas are grown, so let’s take a look. We will look at how peas are grown both domestically in gardens and allotments and also how peas are grown commercially on large scale farms.

Commercial V Domestic

Peas are grown up and down this country in peoples gardens as well as being grown commercially on farms. As you can imagine these two methods are fairly different in just how the peas are grown, so let us have a look at both.

Growing Peas in the Garden/Allotment

So how do home growers grow peas in their gardens or allotments? Well, normally they are grown in the ground but can be sometimes grown in pots too.

the pea plants will be grown close together in rows with each plant usually about 15cm apart.

There will usually be some sort of support for the peas to grow up. This could be a trellis, bamboo cane or some other construction.

peas growing up bamboo canes
peas growing up bamboo canes

Here we can see some peas growing up bamboo canes, if you look in the middle you can see all the “suckers” that the pea plants use to attach themselves to the canes. Gardeners will also tie the pea plants to the canes using string or ties.

The peas will grow up the canes before then flowering. Pea flowers are very nice delicate white flowers, they don’t stick around for long though. Once the flowers have done their job and been fertilised pea pods will start to develop in there place.

Once the peas are nice and chunky inside their pods then a gardener will pull them off by hand. There is no taste quite like freshly picked peas, they are soo much sweeter and just generally better than any other pea you have had before.

Commercially Grown Peas

Peas are grown commercially here in the UK. There are an estimated 700 commercial pea farmers producing 160,000 tonnes of peas annually.

Commercially grown peas seem to be grown without supports and are often more ground hogging than those you see on allotments.

Commercial pea seedlings
Commercial pea seedlings

They are then harvested using proper machinery. A harvester will run across all of the peas and send them into a waiting trailer.

Commercially grown peas being harvested
Commercially grown peas being harvested

Image courtesy of yes peas!