Growing Peas with Kids in the Garden

Our household loves gardening. I am often asked what is our favorite vegetable to grow.  Without a doubt, I would say, snow peas.  

 Snow peas are one of my favorite plants to grow in both our home and school garden.  Mostly because they are so easy to grow.  Peas prefer cooler weather and can be planted after the danger of frost is over.  I till my soil by hand with a shovel and make finger indents about an inch deep and two inches apart from each other.  Then, I let the kids put one pea in each hole.  We cover with soil, water, and wait.  Soon, these little "flags" appear.
 After several weeks, the plants get bigger and blossoms form.  Within days each blossom becomes a pea.

 And as the peas get bigger, we pick and eat them.  If you have a class of 18 children, this is one vegetable that everyone can have a chance to harvest and eat on the same day.  It won't be a whole serving of vegetables, but will at least let the children sample the fruits of their labor. If you have a home garden, we planted a 4 foot row of peas and both children have been eating a small handful every day for snacks.

 We have even gone out to pick them early in the morning to pack them in my 5 year old's lunch boxes.  My 2 year old runs to the garden and says, "morning peas!" and then proceeds to rip the peas off the plants and stuff them in his mouth as fast as possible before his big sister gets to them.  I can't say I mind, although we are working on taking them off a little bit more gentle for the safety of the plants!

Helpful tips for growing peas
I used to have trouble growing peas until I called my mom (who has an amazing garden in MN). She asked, "How often are you watering them?"  I had just been watering them the 2-3 times a week like my other vegetables, but I learned that peas like water!  I now water my peas once, even twice a day and since I started this practice last year, my peas have been fantastic!  The other piece of advice was to plant them early in the season as they do not like extreme heat!

Yeah - my kids really go crazy for peas out of the garden!!! 

Want to extend your learning even further? 
  • Count your harvest and compare the amount to the day before
  • Record what you have harvested in your gardening journal.  Here is one I have created for my kids and is available for purchase at my Teachers' Notebook store. It is 20 pages at only $3.00, available for instant download!
  • Measure your pea pods - see who can find the longest!
  • Sing a song or fingerplay about peas
  • Write a story about growing peas
  • Read a story about peas!

Five Fat Peas
Author Unknown Shared at Preschool Rainbow

Five fat peas in a pea pod pressed
(children hold hand in a fist)
One grew, two grew, so did all the rest.
(put thumb and fingers up one by one)
They grew and grew
 (raise hand in the air very slowly)
And did not stop,
Until one day
The pod went POP!
(children clap hands together)

Additional Information

How to grow peas by Heirloom Organics.
Another how to from USA Gardener.
Best varieties for different places.

Crafting Links

Adorable peas in the pod craft using a paper plate!
Make your own felt peas
Another felt pea tutorial!
Make your own baby pea pod costume (sorry, I can't find a better tutorial - this isn't the greatest!)

Happy Gardening!


Rebekah said...

Do you know how hot peas like it? I am wondering if we have missed the season to plant them since it is already reaching the 80's mid day here in Central TX. I bet they would do well in the Fall here.

Amanda said...

I try to plant a short row every few weeks for about a month. My last batch (planted 2 weeks ago, is not doing as well because we are in the 80's) Snow peas really like the cool crisp nights and do NOT like the hot sunny days. Cow peas - like Texas 40 can be planted in the hot weather!

heather at wordplayhouse® said...

I love your little 'how a pea grows' story, your printables, your poem, and activities. Wonderful post!

Marnie said...

Perfect timing! We just visited the nursery yesterday, planting peas today! TY!

Amanda said...

Exciting! Do stop back and let me know how they are growing!

Amanda said...

Thank you so much Heather! My kids and I really enjoy gardening and hope we can inspire more families to try it!

Growing a Jeweled Rose said...

Now I can't wait to grow peas! I wish I had seen this sooner, as it is already getting hot here. I guess I will have to wait until next year :/

Amanda said...

They are one of my favorite veggies to grow with kids! The good news, is that if you are in some hotter zones, you may be able to sneak a crop in this fall! Your local extension office or Feed-n-seed store should have a planting guide with dates for your area! Websites like this can give you an idea of what to plant in your are right now =)

Katey (Having Fun at Home) said...

We've found shelling peas to be a great multi-sensory way to keep little hands busy at our house!

Robyn... Pen Pals and Picture Books said...

Amanda, I love your gardening tips- you know I had the same trouble with underwatering my peas, when I figured that out my peas started growing wonderfully! We just barely planted ours last week- can't wait to see them start popping up!

Amanda said...

My kids love it too - although we planted such a small patch that most of them were eaten raw =) I planted a row of cow peas last week!

Amanda said...

Isn't that first stage exciting? Unfortunately, we are nearing the end of our harvesting season due to the warm weather, but we will hopefully get another crop in the fall. I am hoping my tomatoes are ready soon to make up for the pea loss! They started blossoming last week!

Little Wonders' Days said...

I love this post! It looks like you had great success with your peas. My grandfather used to grow these and they were one of my favorites in his garden. I can remember eating them straight out of the pod! Great pictures too.

daisy broomfield said...

We haven't tried growing peas but we definitely will now! We do grow runner beans so that the plants make a living teepee for the kids to hide in. I wonder if pea plants grow as tall?

Lovingmama said...

They are not quite as tall and a little more fragile - We are going to try runner beans this year and hopefully make a hut for the kids too!

Jacquie Fisher said...

We have never tried peas in the garden - maybe we will this year. Great resources and cute pics! Thanks for sharing at the Discover & Explore linky!

Diana Olton said...

I write for children - gardening books among other things - and think your blog is a great way to help parents inspire young gardeners. Keep up the good work
Diana Noonan

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