Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Pea Shoots - Delicious, Nutritious and Easy to Grow

I began experimenting with growing pea shoots a few years ago as a transitional crop to bridge the gap between the last of the winter greens and new spring crops. I buy dwarf gray sugar peas, garnish type, from Johnnys Seeds. A 5 lb. bag costs $17.60. I can sow about 8 flats with 5 lbs. of seeds and sell they for $12.00 per flat. Pretty good ROI.

It took several attempts to work out the kinks in my method. This is how i do it.

  • I use standard web trays lined with landscape fabric to keep the soil from running out the bottom. Newspaper would work as well.
  • I fill the trays half way with my standard worm casting and granite sand seed starting mix. I sprinkle 2 cups of pea seeds evenly over the surface and press them firmly into the soil. I used to cover them with soil but i found that because the seeds are so close together they would push up large masses of soil which were hard to deal with.
  • I water them thoroughly.
  • I place them on the table under the grow light and cover the trays with plastic to retain moisture. The grow light provides heat that encourages germination. When the weather is warmer i place them in the hoop house. I check them daily and water when needed to keep the seeds moist.
  • They will germinate in about 7- 10 days at which time I remove the plastic.
  • They will be ready to harvest in about 3 more weeks when the shoots are 3-4 inches tall. If i cut them off above the first couple of leaves i can sometimes get enough regrowth for another harvest.

Packed with vitamins A[1], C[2] and folic acid[3], Pea Shoots are a delicious, nutritious modern slant on the classic British garden pea. Lyndel Costain, B.Sc.RD, award winning dietitian and author of Super Nutrients Handbook, says, “Pea Shoots are a nutritious leaf with high levels of vitamin C and vitamin A. A 50g bag of these tasty greens offers more than half of the RDA for vitamin C, a quarter of the RDA for vitamin A and significant amounts of folic acid. It is great news that this healthy and simple to prepare British vegetable leaf is readily available to consumers.”
source - peashoots.com

That's it! Easy peasy :)


Herbalmomma said...

This a great idea! I wonder, if it would work in-ground. Used clear shower curtains and bamboo that was laying around to make a row cover. I am going to try it out. Sounds yummy!

Anonymous said...


Great set-up. Enjoy the chow.