Pisum sativum 'Kelvedon Wonder'

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A pea is a most commonly green, occasionally golden yellow, or infrequently purple pod-shaped vegetable, which is widely grown as a cool season vegetable crop. Peas are easy to grow, and achieve a good yield in a small space, though they have a very limited growing season. Peas thrive in cool weather and young plants will tolerate light frosts. Once germinated, peas adapt well to the cold, damp climate of early spring. Peas must be planted as early as possible in the spring to get a full harvest before hot summer temperatures arrive and put an end to production. Peas have both low-growing and vining cultivars. The vining cultivars grow thin tendrils from leaves that coil around any available support and can climb to be 1–2 m high. A traditional approach to supporting climbing peas is to thrust branches pruned from trees or other woody plants upright into the soil, providing a lattice for the peas to climb. Branches used in this fashion are sometimes called pea brush. Metal fences, twine, or netting supported by a frame are used for the same purpose. In dense plantings, peas give each other some measure of mutual support. Peas were originally grown for their dry seeds, as for centuries people thought 'green' peas were poisonous. The annual 'Peasenhall Pea Festival' in the English village of Peasenhall, Suffolk attracts hundreds of visitors every year, with events such as Pea Shooting, the World Pea Podding Championships and National Pea Eating competition. In 2012, the Pea Festival had an OlymPEAn theme, celebrating the London 2012 Olympics.
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Flowering time

Summer, Autumn

Fruiting time

Summer, Spring


Keep your peas well picked to encourage more pods to develop. Pick peas in the morning after the dew has dried. They are crispiest then. Always use two hands when you pick peas. Secure the vine with one hand and pull the peas off with your other hand.



Peas like a deeply dug, well manured, non-acidic soil. Select an open spot which has not grown peas during the past two seasons. Add lime if needed. Shortly before sowing, feed the soil with a general fertiliser. Sow seeds in flat trenches.

Special features

Crop rotation

Peas are a legume and so enrich the soil with Nitrogen.

Special features


Switzerland, Egypt, Greece and Rome

Natural climate

Europe, Eurasia, North-America.



Full Sun, Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture


Soil type

Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Neutral, Alkaline

Frost hardiness




The peas are edible and are used in a variety of cuisines.




Flower colour

Purple, White




Mexican Bean Beetles, and Seedcorn maggot Seed decay, seedling root rot, wilt.

Related Problems

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Knowledge and advice

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