Take a closer look at the above photo. That is my garden, peas planted 5 days earlier, now covered in a beautiful layer of white, wet snow. Pretty indeed. And yes this is mid April not the middle of winter. One might think this would be the time to panic, thinking all my hard work has just gone down the tube, and I will have to replant the whole thing. And yet, I am calm and collected right now.
Why Not to Worry About It Snowing After Planting Peas
Peas like it cold. We are by no means frost free here in southern Michigan yet, but I have no problem with putting my peas in the ground. The snow fall isn’t necessarily helping my peas, but they can germinate in soil temperatures between 40 and 85 degrees (see growing guide from Cornell University). So clearly, due to the fact that it is cold enough to snow, the soil temperature will be out of that range. The snowfall itself is better than just cold temperature alone, as the snow acts as a blanket keeping the ground underneath warmer than the air above.
Yes, this may have delayed the germination of my peas but not killed them by any means. Germination rate may go down if the peas take too long to germinate. Warmer temperatures are coming with highs in the 60s and lows at night in the 40s. That is right around the average temperatures I would expect for this time of year. So, say the soil temperature averages in the 50s – if I follow the guide previously mentioned from Cornell, I can expect my peas to emerge in about another 7 days. For now we wait, we water, and anticipate the beginnings of life in my garden. It is always an exciting moment for me once that life does begin, only surpassed, of course, by the first harvest.