Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Growing Pea Shoots..Good food for Us

Did you know you can sow peas for their edible tips all year round on windowsills? Well I didn't until recently.  "Garnish Type, Dwarf Gray Sugar" arrived from Johnny's Seeds with a full page of instructions for preparing, planting, growing, harvesting and marketing. Wouldn't life be easier if every seed package came with an enclosure like that!
However... following directions is not my strong suit and it did seem a lot to read... so yes..((( rushed through that bit.  I didn't notice, for instance, you don't have to inoculate the peas but I ALWAYS inoculate my pea seeds.....hard to break a habit.

My recipe.... Soak the peas overnight; next day, fill a tray or pretty pot with growing medium; cover totally with the soaked peas...totally! Then, sprinkle a light covering of the growing medium over that; top with an acrylic dome or clear wrap and keep moist. Peas do not need light to germinate.

These were planted March 12th and are ready to cut. J's say cut when 2 to 4 inches at soil level but I have read another source that says by cutting a little higher you can sometimes get a second harvest. We are going to add them to our salads, try them in a stir fry and maybe toss with pasta or rice.  Nibbling, I can attest to the fact these shoots are tender and taste fantastic... plus they are great value and easy pea-sy to grow.

Greens...make you feel really good inside don't they.. sliced young garlic, lemon zest, leaves of Winter Marvel lettuce..a titch of arugula..a wonderful Spring Tonic!!


  1. I had no idea that pea leaves were edible. Is this just a specific type of pea? I see yours are labelled garnish type.

  2. Last year I watched an article on TV re this & Alys Fowler said you could plant any plain old pea for pea shoots. In fact, she recommended you use the dried peas from the supermarket. I tried it, I got a box for 35p & they were brilliant. They lasted me all year & I still have some left!!

  3. Marguerite...GFM has answered your question! I honestly didn't know the answer to that, but I did read a bit about Alys Flowler in a garden mag. She was my "other source"..should have made a link when I published...fixed that today.

    Green fingers mum..I didn't know that Alys recommended you can use dried peas from the supermarket so thanks so much for very much appreciated.

    A reminder to all though, that sweet pea pods are poisonous so I would expect, also the new shoots.

  4. yum - what a good idea - I'm going to do that!

  5. Oh my, your plants sure look yummy! This is new too me as well. Thanks for sharing this idea...

  6. Oh Bren.. as my kids would say OMG - those are gorgeous photos!! So glad you're having success with pea shoots.. you're making me want to start some too! very spring-y.. tossed in a salad or in a pasta.. mmmm.. thanks for the great post!

  7. Dear Bren, I am so inspired. I have the perfect windows to grow food like this, where the rabbits cannot get them!! Your photos look good enough to eat! Yum Yumm!

  8. What a great idea and the salad looks so healthy! You are inspiring me to fill a window sill, well.... once the I blow off the drywall dust. :)

  9. Found your blog through Shirls Gardenwatch I'll be following your progress throughout the year

  10. So you can eat snow peas shoots! Great to know, thank you!

    Lovely salads you have there!


  11. Learn something new every day just sent DH out for some dried peas do you think I can do that with beans as well?

  12. My husband and I always buy peas at the farmers market and eat them like candy. I didn't know about the young shoots and bet we would love them too.
    I have always grown flowers, but as I read more blogs like yours I find myself increasingly interested in the idea of growing vegetables. That pea shoot salad looks so delicious!!

  13. What a great blog! (and I just named my baby son Bren and was surprised to find another one in Nova Scotia!) I'm wondering about your current crop of Peas - are there any you are growing past the shoots stage? I have sugar peas growing out of control in my window and I'm wondering when it is safe to transplant them outside - do you have your crop out yet?

    1. Hi, so great to hear from you. I usually don't transplant peas outside but start them right in the ground as early as I can work the soil. I expect you will have to harden yours off if you want to put them outside. Why not soak a few seeds now, overnight, and put them in because they will grow really well I expect. Gosh wish I could be more helpful. I must admit, am late putting in my peas this year, and they are soaking as I speak! They like lots of lime by the way, if you have any.