Pea Plant Companions: What Are Plants That Grow With Peas

Pea Plant Companions: What Are Plants That Grow With Peas



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By: Amy Grant

You’ve heard the saying “just like two peas in a pod.” Well, the nature of companion planting with peas is akin to that idiom. Companion plants for peas are simply plants that grow well with peas. That is, they are mutually beneficial to one another. So just which plants make good garden pea companions?

Companion Planting with Peas

Companion planting is a form of polyculture and basically means planting different crops near each other for mutual benefit. The benefits of companion planting for peas or any other vegetable may be for pest control or aid in pollination. Companion planting may also be used to maximize garden space or to provide habit for beneficial insects.

Also, in nature, there is generally a great deal of plant diversity in any one ecosystem. This diversity strengthens the ecosystem and reduces the ability of any one pest or disease to decimate the system. In the home garden, we usually only have a scant variety and, in some cases, perhaps everything is from the same family, leaving the door open for certain pathogens to infiltrate the entire garden. Companion planting diminishes this chance by creating a more diverse community of plants.

Plants that Grow Well with Peas

Peas grow well with a number of aromatic herbs including cilantro and mint.

Leafy greens, such as lettuce and spinach, are excellent garden pea companions as are:

  • Radishes
  • Cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Beans

Members of the Brassica family such as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cabbage are all suitable pea plant companions.

These plants also pair nicely with peas in the garden:

  • Corn
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnips
  • Parsnips
  • Potatoes
  • Eggplant

Just like some people are drawn together and some people are not, peas are repelled by the planting of certain crops near them. They do not like any member of the Allium family, so keep the onions and garlic at bay. They also don’t appreciate the beauty of gladioli, so keep these flowers away from the peas.

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10 Zucchini Companion Plants (& 2 Plants To Never Grow With Zucchini)

Published: Mar 24, 2021 by Lindsay Sheehan · This post may contain affiliate links.

Zucchini (Cucurbita pepo var. cylindrica) is a popular mainstay in the home garden. And it’s no wonder why – sow only one or two plants and you shall receive copious amounts of green, elongated fruit.

Mild in taste yet slightly sweet, zucchini is one of those vegetables that goes so well with so many recipes. Don’t let any go to waste by planning ahead and preserving your zucchini surplus.

Growing zucchini plants isn’t hard as long as you give them everything they need to thrive.

One way to ensure your harvest is truly legendary is to team up your zucchini plants with their polyculture companions.

Intercropping and edging the plot with friends-of-zucchini brings with it better pollination, soil fertility and pest control – all while boosting yields, enhancing flavor and saving precious garden space.

Here are 10 plants that make nice with zucchini (and two that don’t).


Companion Plants For Peas - Learn About Garden Pea Companions - garden

by Liberty Hyde Bailey and W.W. Tracy
from Cyclopedia of American Horticulture, 1901

The garden Pea is the most important member of the genus Pisum. It is native to Europe, but has been cultivated from before the Christian Era for the rich seeds. The field or stock Pea differs little from the garden Pea except in its violet rather than white flowers and its small gray seeds. There are many varieties and several well-marked races of garden Peas. Whilst Peas are grown mostly for their seeds, there is a race in which the thick, soft green pods, with the inclosed seeds, are eaten. The common or shelling Peas may be separated into two classes on the character of the seed itself, — those with smooth seeds and those with wrinkled seeds. The later are the richer, but they are more likely to decay in wet, cold ground, and therefore are not so well adapted to very early planting. Peas may also be classified as climbing, half-dwarf or showing a tendency to climb and doing best when support is provided, and dwarf or those not requiring support. Again, the varieties may be classified as to season, — early, second-early, and late examples of these classes are shown in the pictures, 1656, 1657, 1658, respectively. Vilmorin’s classification (les Plantes Potageres) is as follows:

A. The Pea round (smooth).
B. Plant climbing.
C. Seed white
CC. Seed green
BB. Plant half-dwarf.
C. Seed white
CC. Seed green
BBB. Plant dwarf.
C. Seed white
CC. Seed green
AA. The Pea wrinkled (divisions as above).

The Chinese gardeners about New York City grow a Pea which is described as follows: “The Pea (Ga-lon-ow) of the Chinese gardens behaves like a little improved or perhaps ancient type of the common Pea. It is the same species as ours. It differs chiefly in having somewhat knotty or constricted pods, as shown in the illustration (Fig. 1639). The pods ‘shell’ very hard, and there is a tendency to develop a broad border or margin along the lower side. The Peas are small and are variable in color, and they generally turn dark in cooking. In quality they are sweet and excellent, but they do not possess any superiority over our common varieties. The seeds which we have obtained from the New York Chinese gardeners are mixed. In color, the Peas run from nearly white to dark brown. The brown seeds, however, have given us much earlier pickings than the light ones. In one instance the seeds were sorted into three grades — light, medium light, and dark brown — and all were planted in sandy soil on the 20th of April. On the 5th of July the dark-seeded plot gave a good picking, while the light-seeded, and even the medium plots produced much taller plants and very few of the pods had begun to fill. The dark- and medium-seeded plots produced plants with colored flowers — the standard being rose-purple and the keel black-purple and splashed. The light-colored seeds, on the other hand, gave pure white flowers, larger leaves and broader pods. These facts are interesting in connection with the evolution of the garden Pea and its relationship to the red-flowered field Pea.”

Left to themselves, the varieties of Peas soon lose their characteristics through variation. They are much influenced by soil and other local conditions. Therefore, many of the varieties are only minor strains of some leading type, and are not distinct enough to be recognized by printed descriptions. This accounts for the confusion in varieties of Peas, particularly in the dwarf or extra-early types. The varietal names are many. In 1889 American dealers catalogued 154 names. L.H. Bailey

Peas for the Home Garden. — Green Peas are at their best when perfectly fresh, and should come to the table within 5 or 6 hours from the vine. Those bought in the market can rarely be served until 24-48 hours after picking, when they necessarily have lost much of their good quality. It is, therefore, a great advantage to have a home-grown supply. Though they are of easy culture, it is not always feasible to give them a place in one’s own garden, because they require considerable space, 1-2 yards of row being necessary to produce a single “portion,” and it is rare that more than 2 or 3 pickings can be made from the same vines. Peas need a rich, friable soil, but an over-supply of nitrogen or the use of coarse and fresh manure will result in a rank growth of vines, with few pods and Peas of inferior quality. The best manurial condition for Peas is found where a heavy dressing of fertilizer has been applied the previous year. If such a soil is not available, the application of 3-6 bushels of well-rotted stable manure, or, in place of this, about one-half bushel of wood ashes, 3 or 4 pounds of salt and 5-10 pounds of ground bone or other commercial fertilizer to the square rod, and well worked into the surface soil just before planting, will give good results. Most of the cultivation for Peas should be done before they are planted, and it is more important for this crop than for most that the ground should be well worked and made as friable as possible before the seed is sown. While Pea vines will be killed by a hard freeze, they will endure a slight frost with but little injury, and thrive best in a cool, damp soil and atmosphere. It is, therefore, desirable to plant as early in the spring as the soil can be worked. The writer likes best to plant in double rows about 6 inches apart, with the distance between the pairs about equal to the height to which the variety grows. If the soil is sandy and well drained, form a trench 4-6 inches deep and drop 10-20 seeds to the foot according as the variety is a tall- or dwarf-growing one, and cover about an inch deep, gradually filling the trench as the plants grow. In proportion as the soil is heavier and less porous and well-drained the trench should be shallower until, on tenacious clay soils, the seed should be within an inch of the surface.

All the garden varieties, if planted in the way suggested, will give a fair return without trellising, but those growing over 2 feet high will do better if supported. There is nothing better for this purpose than brush, but this is not always available, and the vines can be well supported by driving stakes 2-4 inches wide 12-20 feet apart in the double rows, and as the vines grow enclosing their tops between wires or wool twine stretched opposite each other on either side of the stakes.

Anything more than mere surface tillage is apt to do the Pea crop more harm than good, but any crust formed after rain should be broken up, and the vines will be greatly benefited by frequent stirring of the surface soil.

Peas for Market. — The above notes will suggest the best methods of culture for market, and profit will depend largely upon the selection of varieties suited to the needs of the trade, and the use of pure and well-grown seed.

Peas for Canning. — The quantity of Peas canned, and the popularity of such goods, has been largely increased by the use of the machines known as viners, in the use of which the vines are cut when the green Peas are in the best condition for use, and fed into the machine, which by a system of revolving beaters and cylinders separates the green Peas as effectually as a threshing machine does those which are ripe and dry. As the vines will begin to heat and spoil within a few hours after cutting, it becomes essential to get them through the viner and the Peas into the cans the same day they are gathered, and the canned Peas come to the table fresher and better in quality than from most of the pods obtainable in market. When grown for canning or for seed, Peas are usually sown broadcast or with grain drills and no farther culture given, though the crop is improved by a judicious use of the roller after sowing and a weeding harrow just after the plants are up.

Varieties and the Growing of Seed. — There are few vegetables in regard to which there is greater difference in tastes as to desirable qualities. To some people tenderness is the most essential quality to others sweetness, while still others care most for a rich flavor and marrow-like texture. Varieties have been developed to meet all these wants, as well as those varying in growth from 6 inches to 6 feet in height and of great diversity in the size, form and color of the pods. In this vegetable the quality and purity of the seed used is of great importance, for every “mess” of Peas consists of the product of many seeds, and as the pods are so near alike that it is impracticable to separate them in gathering, the product of a single inferior seed may injure the entire picking. Again, Peas grown for seed return a very small fold, very rarely as much as 20 and more often less than 5 times the seed planted so that it is impracticable for the seedsman to offer his customers seed grown direct from the seed of individually selected plants, as can readily be done in the case of tomato, squash or other vegetables, which give a larger seed return. The most that can be done is to use the greatest pains to keep the varieties pure and of high quality by constantly renewing stocks by selection and the preventing of deterioration or mixing while growing and handling. With none of our common vegetables is the planter more dependent upon the ability and honesty of their seedsman.

Some of the most distinct types of the hundreds of varieties of garden Peas are:

A. The earliest kinds, such as Alaska and First and Best, which produce early-maturing, comparatively small pods filled with Peas of rather low quality, on vines about 2 feet high.

B. A long list of dwarf-growing sorts like American Wonder (Fig. 1656) and Premium Gem, which produce small-medium-sized pods generally crowded with Peas of fine quality on vines ranging from 6-18 inches in height.

C. A large class like Strategem and Heroine, which produce very large pods containing large, rich-flavored Peas on thick, heavy vines growing 18-30 inches high.

D. Lastly, there are the taller growing sorts, like Telephone and Champion of England (Fig. 1658), which yield large crops of large- or medium-sized pods on vines growing from 4-6 feet high.


Growing Peas

Peas are an early sweet treat from the garden grown for fresh eating, food storage, animal feed, and soil health. There are actually multiple types of the garden pea, some are eaten fresh and others are allowed to dry on the plant. Both varieties prefer similar growing conditions. With some garden know-how, growing peas is simple. Choose your varieties and read the packets carefully!

  • Intro
  • Varieties of peas
  • Shelling Peas (Pisum sativum)
  • Snow Pea (Pisum savitum)
  • Sugar Snap Pea (Pisum macrocarpon)
  • How to plant peas from seed?
  • How to harvest peas?
  • How to build a pea trellis?
  • Companion plants
  • Common pests and problems
  • Varieties of peas

    There are many types of peas available to grow. Sweet peas, for example, are ornamental and the pods are inedible. Generally, edible peas are divided into three categories:

    • Shelling Pea
    • Snow Pea
    • Sugar Snap Pea

    All three of these prefer the same growing temperatures, soil conditions, and planting companions. The main difference between them is how they are eaten. It’s always worth reading seed packet instructions because some varieties grow differently than others, and may require different infrastructure.

    Shelling Peas (Pisum sativum)

    These are fat, sweet peas inside fibrous inedible pods. Many European varieties of shell pea were developed throughout the 1700s. For this reason, they are also called English peas or simply garden peas.

    These are the peas used to make pea salad, or canned and emptied later into familiar casseroles and curries. They must be shelled out of the pod before eating, and from there they may be blanched and eaten, dried, frozen, or canned. Some popular varieties of Shelling pea include:

    • Garden Sweet – extra sweet peas, (75 days to harvest)
    • Wando – this pea handles weather extremes well, moderately sweet, freezes nicely, (70 days)
    • Spring – Prolific producer, moderately sweet, (60 days)

    Snow Pea (Pisum savitum)

    Snow peas are another type of garden pea that is eaten pod and all. They are flat and the peas inside look immature. That’s because they are, snow peas are harvested long before the inner peas grow to maturity. They have a sweet crunch to them and are typically eaten fresh, although they can be frozen.

    These peas are commonly found in stir-fry’s, salads, or just served up lightly cooked with lemon juice. Some of the most popular varieties to grow in the garden are:

    • Mammoth Melting Sugar – heirloom, 4-5 foot tall vines, very sweet, (70 days)
    • Gray Sugar – Traditional snow pea, 18 inches tall, (65 days)
    • Avalanche – Long pods, disease resistant, 3 feet tall, (60 days)

    Sugar Snap Pea (Pisum macrocarpon)

    The shelling pea and the snow pea were the first horticultural innovations of this vegetable. The sugar snap pea came from the best of both worlds. It was created in the 1970’s by Calvin Lamborn who was working on improving pea plant structure. His curiosity led him to breed several types of edible-pod pea that can be eaten raw or cooked.

    This is the most common pea used in split pea soup. It can be shelled although doesn’t need to be. The pea, pod and all, can be eaten fresh, cooked, dried, canned, or frozen. Some popular varieties are:

    • Sugar Bon – Disease Resistant, Sweet Pea, 2 feet tall, (55 days)
    • Sugar Snap – Award Winning, 6 feet tall, very sweet, (65 days)
    • Sugar Ann – Disease Resistant, 2 feet tall, Crisp and Sweet, (55 Days)

    How to plant peas from seed?

    prepare a garden bed by removing weeds and mulch. Turn the soil if it is compacted, and top it with 3-4 inches of compost. Peas will grow in a variety of soils from sand to clay but require a well-draining medium.

    Plant peas during the cool seasons of spring and fall. Springtime will produce the best crops, and peas can go in the ground as soon as soil temperatures reach above 45°F (7.2°C). They’ll endure a frost easily, but a summer heat wave will wilt them.

    Soak pea seeds overnight to ensure quick germination. If desired, mix a rhizobial bacteria inoculant into the water that the seeds soak in. Peas and bean have a special relationship with this soil bacteria which allow them to take nitrogen from the air and fix it into the soil. Most of the time this bacteria is already present in the soil, but adding it to your soaking solution will ensure that it is present during the lifecycle of your garden.

    Plant peas 2 inches deep and 1 inch apart. Keep in mind that they will need a trellis or support to grow up. Depending on variety the height of the plant could range between 16 inches and 6 feet. When seedlings are 1-2 inches tall, you can thin to 3-4 inch spacing.

    How to harvest peas?

    If you amended your planting bed with compost prior to planting, peas shouldn’t have any fertilization needs at all. Other than regular watering, providing a trellis, and light weeding, there is little care associated with growing peas.

    Snow peas are the first to be ready because they are harvestable at any point in their lifecycle. Young, fresh snow pea pods are the sweetest and most tender. When pulling them off the vines, be careful not to tug on the plant and rip it apart. Instead, use both hands to provide leverage for pinching or snapping the pod off.

    The best time of day for picking peas is early in the morning before the dew evaporates. This is when all vegetables and fruits are at their most crisp and will store for the longest possible time. All types of peas can be eaten fresh or stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Use another preservation method to keep them longer.

    How to build a pea trellis?

    How fancy you get with building a support system for peas is up to you. It can be as simple as sticking some cut branches into the ground for the pea to climb. Plant peas along a wire fence so you don’t have to worry about building anything. Pea tendrils will wrap around many materials from fence fire to twine to trellis wood.

    If your peas are in rows, you can pound in two stakes and run garden twin between them. Pull in tight to create a twine fence for the peas to cling to as they grow. Or, use extra tomato cages and place one around each plant.

    Companion plants

    Peas are the ultimate garden companion plant. They not only grow well with most other garden herbs and vegetables, but they actually benefit them by pumping nitrogen into the soil. The best way to get the most from your pea plants is to rotate them through the garden giving each planting bed a rotation of peas.

    The largest nutrient benefit comes from allowing the roots to decay in the soil. Living pea plants will feed other non-pea or bean plants around them, but they will feed much more heavily after being harvested.

    When pea plants begin to brown and are no longer producing peas, simply allow them to compost back into the bed. If this isn’t an option because you want to use the space, then cut them at the soil level and plant around the roots. let the roots decay and release plant-available nutrients. Other members of the pea and bean family will not benefit from this bacterial relationship because they share it.

    Common pests and problems

    Peas are fairly resistant to most issues, some varieties more than others. Powdery mildew is a white powder-like fungus that can affect leaves in wet climates with improper air flow. However, several varieties of pea are resistant to this fungus so if you live in an area that is prone to powdery mildew, purchase resistant varieties.

    If a plant is yellowing, it’s likely a nutrient deficiency. Add a layer of fresh compost as a mulch and water it in. In some cases, yellowing is a sign of over-fertilization. Peas do not require nitrogen and may suffer if a heavy nitrogen fertilizer is used.

    Mice can be a problem with pea seeds, particularly if you are starting them in a greenhouse. Mice will dig up peas and eat them straight from the ground. You may not notice for a couple of weeks until your peas don’t sprout.

    Combat this by placing a screen or netting over the soil. It can be removed once they germinate. Wrap seedling trays in plastic to prevent mice or birds from stealing seeds.


    How to Plant Green Peas

    Green peas are simple to grow. The most important thing is to nail the timing for planting. Peas can grow in any USDA Zone from 3-11 with full or partial sunshine.

    They need a loamy, humus-rich soil with a pH from 5.5-7.0.

    Prepare the Beds

    Start your garden beds in the fall. This will give you time to till up the ground, apply compost, and mulch.

    If you didn’t start your beds in the fall, that’s okay. Just till the ground as early as you can and work compost into the soil.

    You’ll also need to decide if you want to plant your peas in a regular garden bed or a raised bed. If your soil doesn’t drain well, then it might be better to plant your peas in raised beds.

    Once you’ve made all of these decisions and preparations, you’re ready to move on.

    Timing is Everything

    Timing is the most critical aspect when planting peas. Peas do best in cold and moist weather. If you wait too long to plant, the heat will get them and kill your harvest.

    If you plant when the soil is too moist, or the ground isn’t warm enough, then your harvest will never start.

    Check a planting schedule to know when the best time is to plant in your zone. You also need to check the moisture in your area. Peas need moisture, so you want the soil to be wet but not waterlogged.

    If the ground is too wet when planting, and it stays moist for days, it will damage your seeds.

    Also, if you see snow in the forecast, don’t panic. Plant the peas because a light covering of snow won’t hurt new seedlings.

    However, if you see temperatures in the forecast where it’s going to stay down in the teens for days on end, then know that you will probably have to replant.

    The ideal temperatures for peas is when the soil is above 45°F but below 70°F.

    As you can see, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration when deciding to plant. Just judge it the best you can. Worst case scenario you’ll have to replant.

    Plant Your Seeds

    Once you feel confident in the timing, sow your seeds. Each seed needs to be planted 1.5 inches deep and an inch apart from the next seed. You can plant your peas in single or double rows.

    If you plant your seeds in a single row, then each row needs to be anywhere from 18 to 24 inches apart. The double rows need to be about eight to ten inches apart.

    When the seeds have proper spacing and are in the ground, you’re ready to move onto learning how to care for them properly.


    Watch the video: Companion Gardening With Potatoes and Peas