Planting out seeds in May, wait until the ground is dry and warm – as seeds will simply rot if planted out in cold, wet conditions. You can ensure the right conditions by covering the ground with a polyethene sheet before you begin sowing. Depending on the number of plants you wish to grow, create a V-shaped drill 5 cm deep. Carefully water the base of the drill and then sow the seeds with a 5 cm space between them. Plant into three rows, then carefully firm down the soil. Tall varieties of a pea should be planted out in single rows with 5 to 10 cm spaces between seeds. The second row of tall peas needs to be at least 30 cm away from the first.
To grow your peas in succession (for an ongoing crop), sow every two weeks. To provide climbing support use either bamboo, wire netting or a trellis – stake the plants once the peas have grown up and their tendrils are reaching for support. If you are growing an early variety, one technique to ensure a higher success rate of propagation is to use a length of old guttering. Ensure that the guttering has drilled in drainage holes along its length, and sow the seeds at 6 cm spaces in seed compost. Place your guttering-trench in a cold frame or a greenhouse. When the seedlings are established, transplant by sliding the seedlings from the guttering and into a shallow trench. Water in. When planted out, cover your seedlings with a cloche to encourage faster growth.