If you love salads, you will definitely love microgreens. They are not only nutritious but also incredibly simple to grow. When growing microgreens, no garden is required. You just need to find a sunny spot anywhere in your house, and you are ready to go. Of all the microgreens available, the simplest to grow is the pea shoot. You will love these pea flavored shoots that you can add to salads, tacos, sandwiches or use them as toppings for soups.
Pea shoots are simply the young leaves of the pea plant. The normal garden pea usually takes months to grow and requires more space as well as a lot of effort. However, pea shoots will take just 2-3 weeks, and with very little effort, you are rewarded with juicy, delicate and tender leaves. These leaves are also very healthy and provide you with pro-vitamin A, vitamin C and K. Read on to find out how to grow these delicious peas in the comfort of your home.
Growing your Pea Shoots
Soak dried peas
Before you sow the dried seeds, soak them in clean water. When you soak the seeds overnight, they will germinate faster. You just need to look for a clear glass or plastic container, place the seeds and add three times more water than the seeds. This water must be cool about 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a large container, as the dried peas will double in their size after soaking them overnight.
Sowing the peas
Spread about one inch thick organic potting soil into a large potting tray. You can use any shallow and large tray provided it can hold about one inch of potting soil. Distribute the seeds evenly over the soil and gently press them into the soil and cover them lightly. I would recommend organic and microorganism-rich soil.
What to avoid
Avoid any soil that has cow or chicken manure as this could lead to dangerous contamination. The pea shoots are very susceptible to contamination because the parts you will consume are close to the soil. For the best results, add soil enhancements such as sustainable biochar, organic worm castings, organic compost or organic kelp meals to enhance your potting soil.
Select a well-lit location
Once you sow the pea seeds, select a well-lit location to place the tray. If you are growing the pea shoots indoors, you can place the tray on your kitchen counter or a windowsill that receives natural sunlight. When growing the peas outdoors, ensure you place them in a location that receives natural light. However, if you are growing the seeds during the summer, ensure that the location is shady especially during the afternoon. Although the shoots will grow in cool or warm temperature, the best temperature is around 21 C (70 degrees Fahrenheit).
Watering the pea shoots
The pea shoots need proper watering for maximum growth. Although it is crucial to water regularly, do not overwater the plants. Avoid overwatering the shoots by testing the moisture content in the soil before you water. Do this by pinching the top soil. If the soil feels dry, water until it feels moist, not soggy. Overwatering the pea seed makes the soil mouldy, which will destroy the roots of the young pea plants. To avoid mould use a spray bottle to sprinkle water evenly on the soil while waiting for the seedlings to appear. After the pea shoots have emerged, use a small watering can or sink spray nozzle.
The pea shoots are all set for harvest between 2-4 weeks when they reach about six inches tall. Cut the plant that has 2-4 pairs of leaves as well as immature tendrils. Use a pair of kitchen scissors and cut the shoots about half an inch above the potting soil.
Don’t throw away the pot once you have harvested the shoots. You just need to water regularly and the pea seeds will re-sprout for the second time. Although the second crop might be smaller, it involves a very little effort to get it.
Storing the pea shoots
If you need to store the harvested pea shoots, place them in resealable bags in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat. Note: Do not wash the microgreen peas until when you are preparing them to serve. The extra water from washing makes the pea shoots to go bad quickly. Take a gallon sized resealable bag and keep the shoots dry. Keeping the shoots in this condition, they will stay fresh for over two weeks.
In summary, growing pea shoots is very easy and ideal especially if you are short on space. They grow in any type of pots and require very little effort.
My name is Dianne and I am passionate about all things related to gardening. I blog about indoor and outdoor planting as well as offering useful information about the best gardening products.