How to plant peas in containers

Updated February 21, 2017

Peas are a nutritious treat from a summer garden, and many gardeners believe the taste of fresh peas is superior to that of frozen or canned. If you would like to grow your own peas but are short on garden space or even a yard, you can plant peas in containers and keep them inside or on a deck or patio. You will not reap a huge harvest from container peas, but it will be enough to experience their fresh taste on a salad or as a side dish.

Select a pea variety that will do well in containers, such as a dwarf or bush variety.

Choose a container that is at least 12 inches in diameter. You could also use half barrels or a large rectangular planter. The container must have adequate drainage holes.

Fill the pot or container with a commercial potting soil mix, up to within one inch of the top.

Set one or two three-foot bamboo garden stakes or large sticks in the middle of the pot to offer support to the plants.

Plant the pea seeds one inch beneath the soil, and make sure they are covered well. Space them two inches apart.

Water the pot so the soil is moist but not drenched. After watering, place a one-inch layer of mulch, such as wood chips or compost, on top of the soil.

Keep your container in a lightly shaded area until the seeds germinate, then place them near a bright window or a sunny spot in the yard.

Monitor the soil's moisture content by inserting your thumb into the soil. If your thumb is dry, it is time to thoroughly water until the soil is moist but not drenched.

Fertilise twice during the growing season, after the peas have sprouted. The National Garden Bureau recommends a low-nitrogen fertiliser for container peas.


Peas are ready to harvest when the pods swell. To keep your container peas producing a harvest, pick the pods as soon as they are ready.


If your container does not have adequate drainage, it may hold excess moisture, which will cause the pea plants' roots to rot.

Things You'll Need

  • Container
  • Commercial potting soil
  • Three-foot plant stakes
  • Mulch or compost
  • Low-nitrogen fertiliser
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About the Author

A certified nutritionist who majored in health, fitness and nutrition, Traci Vandermark has been writing articles in her specialty fields since 1998. Her articles have appeared both online and in print for publications such as Simple Abundance, "Catskill Country Magazine," "Birds and Blooms," "Cappers" and "Country Discoveries."