Pea shoots are great for small spaces – they grow fast, taste delicious and are rich in Vitamin C, A and protein. Easy to grow, they’re also perfect to try if you’re starting out. Seeing (and eating!) the fruits of your labour in just in two or three weeks is rewarding and motivating.
Plus, pea shoots are a good choice for a shady spaces or to grow inside over winter – just sow a stray or two and keep near a bright window.
Here, in simple steps (with video below), is how you can grow them.
How to grow pea shoots
1. Soak the peas in water for 24 hours (dried peas sold for cooking will normally grow fine and are much cheaper than buying seed packets).
2. Select a container 2- 3 inches (6-9 cm) deep. An old tray from a market stall will do fine – just make sure it has holes in the bottom to allow water to drain out. The trays sold in gardening stores for seed growing are about the right size, too.
3. Fill your container with compost, about 1/2 to 3/4 inch below the top. It’s always a good idea to use the best quality compost you can find – but having said that, pea shoots are pretty unfussy – and almost any compost seems to be OK.
4. Water the compost, then sow the seeds on top of the compost. You can sow them very closer together – I try to leave a gap the size of a pea between each seed. (If you wanted to grow full sized pea plants, you’d sow the seeds further apart. But as we’re only growing shoots, we can get away with close spacing).
5. Cover with compost – about the thickness of a pea. Water the surface lightly again.
6. That’s it! All you need to do now is keep the compost moist – check it every day in hot weather, every couple of days in cooler weather, and water when needed.
7. In two to three weeks (a bit longer in cold weather) your crop will have grown 3 – 4 inches tall. YOUR CROP IS NOW READY TO EAT! Harvest by pinching off each shoot just above the bottom leaves. Some of the pea shoots will regrow again giving you a second harvest.
8. When the crop has finished, put the roots in your wormery or compost heap if you have one. Worms seem to like them very much!
Interested to learn more about how to grow a wide range of shoots and sprouts productively? Check out the Vertical Veg Club which includes an hour of videos with tips and tricks on how to grow a wide variety of sprouts and shoots.
Here’s a video on how to do it.