Day 0: Plant the seeds
DAY 0: I really enjoy planting the snow peas. The seeds are big and easy to handle like the sunflower seeds. I plant these in 5-6 rows of 10 seeds approximately. I will actually count out the seeds. If I have soaked extra seeds I’ll poke them into any open space on the tray.
When the seeds are planted, place the soaked newsprint paper over the top of the pan and tuck in the edges all around the pan. This will keep the light out, make for a little cup to pour water into if the paper dries out and help to keep the soil and seed moist all at once.
Next place the pan in a dark, warm spot like in a kitchen cupboard over the refrigerator. By leaving the sprouts in the dark they tend to reach for the light and that makes the stems longer.
DAY 1: The seeds will show a small white root, more like an impression of a roots on the side of the pea. In some cases the root will be turning and heading down into the soil. Not too much else happening today. Keep the paper covers moist and tucked in around the edge.
DAY 2: The roots are getting longer and will be trying to find its way into soil. The root will even grow up over the top of the seed and then head down into the soil. If the Daily Garden Soil Mix is moist when the seeds are planted the soil will not need water until Day 5, but the paper cover will need to be moistened everyday or so.
DAY 3: This is the first sign of the pea shoot poking its head up, maybe as much as ½” high. Some of the roots will appear to have ‘fuzz’ on them, it is not mold but root hairs looking for moisture. That is why it is important to keep the covers moist.
DAY 4: The shoots will be up about ½” to ¾” high. They will have the yellow heads forming the first set of leaves. Unlike all the other soil sprouts the pea shoots will develop four or five sets of true leaves before we harvest the tender sweet shoots. Even though the sprouts are up continue to keep the cover moist and the tray in darkness if possible.
DAY 5: The sprouts should be about 1” to 3” high. Remove the cover and put the tray into the sunlight. Indirect light is great for peas, the shoots will grow straight and tall in low light conditions, even a light bulb will green these sprouts.
DAY 6: The pea shoots are greening and about 3” to 4” tall. The true leaves are forming on the stalks, maybe the second or third set of leaves already. Notice in the picture that a sunflower seed is sprouting on the left side of the tray!
DAY 7: Beautiful green shoots are about 5” tall and ready to harvest. The stem and leaves are sweet and tender.
HARVEST: Cut the stem at the ground line with a pair of scissors. Rinse the stems and refrigerate in a plastic bag or container. DO NOT PUT THE SOIL IN THE COMPOST. Let the tray continue to grow a second set of shoots in a few days! They will not be as tall, but the new shoots will be just as tasty as the first batch!
Second Time Around
The second harvest in a few days after the first cutting. Store in a plastic bag or container in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can continue to grow the greens a few more days to ‘store’ the peas shoots. Make sure to water the seedlings everyday if you leave the greens in the tray.
My name is Peter Weeks, Writer of The Daily Gardener. Gardening has always been my passion, nothing gives me quite the satisfaction that feeling the soil sift through my fingers does. Give me a spade, a shovel, and a rake, and I can happily while away the day transforming a patch of land into a beautiful oasis. To me, gardening is life. It’s not a career. It’s not a job. It’s something that I truly love doing. It’s a way of life, a passion that I’ve no intention of ever giving up.