How Close Together to Grow Peas

How Close Together to Grow Peas

One thing that I learned early on when I started growing peas, was that I shouldn’t worry too much on how close I plant them together. Years ago I was a part of a community garden program. I paid a small fee to have a raised bed plot. We lived within walking distance of the garden, so I would push my daughter over in her stroller to visit all the garden beds. This was her first experiences with gardening. Now you see her giving her updates on our Tom Thumb peas and more. Anyway, I met a guy there who advised me to plant my peas close together. He said this would help them grow tall as they compete for space. Ever since then I have never been concerned about spacing. I never thin my peas either. Just let them do their thing.

When I plant them I eyeball about an inch. I mainly just make sure they are not right on top of each other. I kind of scatter the seeds, I don’t necessarily go in a straight row. My goal is to get as many plants in a space as I possibly can fit.

My inspiration for writing this post was seeing lots of pictures online of people giving peas way more room than needed. I regularly do a twitter search on “growing peas” to see what others in the twitter universe are up to in their pea gardens. I have seen photos of peas being grown 1 plant to an entire pot. I don’t blame people for that. I bet a lot of people are so use to growing tomatoes that need plenty of space that they are treating the peas the same way. A single pea plant doesn’t produce anywhere near as much food as a tomato plant. You need a lot more plants if you more than just a taste test. This fact is also why I do not recommend buying pea starter plants. They are not worth the money you have to pay. Pea seeds are so easy to sow and grow as well. So pack plenty of seeds in tight.

Here a few examples from my garden so you can see how close I put them together.

A close up shot of these pea plants shows that they are relatively close together, only about 1 to 2 inches between plants.
A close up shot of these pea plants shows that they are relatively close together, only about 1 to 2 inches between plants.
Here is a shot from further away with my Golden Sweet Snow peas. As you can see as they grow you really can't see the individual plants from a distance, they kind of all blend together. If yours look like this, then your spacing is great!
Here is a shot from further away with my Golden Sweet Snow peas. As you can see as they grow you really can’t see the individual plants from a distance, they kind of all blend together. If yours look like this, then your spacing is great!
If you look close in this shot, you can see that there are some small weeds in between the plants. When the peas are planted close enough together this helps shade out the weeds - so they get large enough to deter the pea plants. I do my best to get rid of them, but it's hard to get them all.
If you look close in this shot, you can see that there are some small weeds in between the plants. When the peas are planted close enough together this helps shade out the weeds – so they get large enough to deter the pea plants. I do my best to get rid of them, but it’s hard to get them all.
Getting this up close makes it look like a canopy, like you were in the rain forest.
Getting this up close makes it look like a canopy, like you were in the rain forest.

Have any pea growing photos? I would love to see how you space out your peas. Leave a comment below.