Fresh peas taste so much crisper and sweeter than frozen or canned peas, they’re like eating treats instead of vegetables. You can grow peas in a small space such as a patio, deck, balcony or rooftop garden using containers. Containers are an easy low-maintenance way to grow vegetables since they make soil preparation simple, and they’re easier to keep weeded than a large open vegetable garden. Depending on your climate, you may be able to grow several crops of peas in a year. Many varieties of peas have crisp sweet pods that you can eat along with the peas. They can be eaten fresh, or used in a stir-fry or salad.
Choose pea seeds that have a compact growth habit and a quick maturity rate. Many bush pea varieties are suitable for containers.
Pick out large containers that are at least 6 inches deep. You can find big, inexpensive plastic pots in many home and garden stores, or you can reuse pots that other plants came in. Depending on how much space you have and how many pea plants you want to grow, you may want several containers.
Make sure the containers have drainage holes. Store-bought pots often come with holes or have plastic plugs that need to be removed. (It’s easiest to punch them out with a screwdriver.) If the container does not have holes, use a screwdriver or other sharp implement to poke several holes in the bottom.
Fill the containers with potting soil. If you’re using up several batches of soil such as some garden dirt, potting soil and compost make sure to mix the soil thoroughly.
Use the planting chart on the seed packet to determine when to plant pea seeds in your area. Peas are generally planted outdoors in spring or fall, when the weather is cool but not too frosty.
Poke holes in the soil with your fingers, about 2 inches apart and 1 inch deep. Place a pea seed in each hole and cover it over with soil.
Stick a few bamboo stakes (or sticks with the leaves and twigs removed) in each container, or let the peas grow in a mound, holding onto each other for support.
Keep the containers watered throughout the growing season. The peas are ready to pick and eat when the pods become plump.
You can plant peas in the corners of other plant containers, such as tomatoes or herbs, rather than in a separate container by themselves, but make sure to give each plant room to grow, and give the peas a stake to cling to. Check the peas periodically to make sure they aren’t tangling themselves in the other plants or wrapping them with tendrils.
You may be able to plant a second batch of pea seeds after the first one has matured. Once you have harvested the pods, you can remove and compost the pea plants.
Use caution when punching holes with a screwdriver.