When To Plant Peas In Iowa: All you Must Know

Peas are delicious, nutritious veggies you should consider planting in your yard. Plus, they aren’t particularly challenging to grow.

And you shouldn’t be surprised to hear that homegrown peas will taste nothing like the tasteless legumes we often buy in the frozen food section.

While peas are relatively easy to grow, they won’t stay fresh for long after harvest: so you’ll only have a limited time to enjoy them fresh. Plus, they will only grow during the cold season.

When To Plant Peas In Iowa

But knowing when to plant these veggies will make a considerable difference in the quality of peas you’ll get. While many people regard St. Patrick’s Day (which falls on the 17th of March) as the traditional day for planting peas, the truth is that the ideal time to plant these legumes depends on where you live.

The key is to move them to the ground early enough in the spring to allow them to mature before the weather gets too warm. And that depends on your USDA hardiness zone.

If you are making a vegetable garden in Iowa, keep reading. Here you’ll learn when to plant peas in Iowa and how to make the most out of these veggies. We hope this article will help you clarify most of your doubts about these legumes.

Don’t forget that Iowa fall under USDA hardiness zones between 4 and 6. While it might not be ideal for warm-season vegetables (even if you can grow various plants here), it is perfect for growing peas!

Of course, that doesn’t mean you won’t have to make all you can to recreate the optimal conditions for their growth. Jump to the next section to learn how to grow peas in Iowa!

When to Plant Peas in Iowa

Before we get to our tips for making the most out of your pea plants, let’s clarify when you should plant them to ensure you’ll get healthy (and voluminous) harvests. Plant your peas when the ground looks reading for working. Usually, that happens between late March and early April in Iowa.

Don’t forget that these plants won’t survive frosts and will struggle to live at temperatures below 40F. Avoid planting your peas too early as you might expose them to conditions they won’t tolerate.

Likewise, doing it too late is a bad idea: you might never get a harvest before the first frost arrives in the fall, which will make all of your efforts to grow your peas vain.

Don’t forget to check your local weather and avoid relying too much on predictions and averages: the climate can drastically change from one year to the next.

Start your seeds indoors to get an earlier crop: it will take 40 to 50 days for seedlings to develop. So, to calculate when to start your pea plants, subtract 50 days from the average last frost date.

When growing your peas from seeds, remember not to expose your seedling to outdoor conditions too abruptly. Harden your plants by exposing them to the external elements one hour at a time (increasing the amount day by day until they can stay safe outdoors for eight hours).

While many gardeners skip this step, you shouldn’t: it allows your plants to increase their chances of surviving diseases, droughts, soggy conditions, and even attacks from pests.

If you are planting more than one pea plant, separate them at least two inches to give them enough space to grow lush.

But what else should you do to get voluminous (and healthy) harvests: you’ll find all you need to know in the following section!

How to Grow Peas in Iowa: Our Tips

Peas don’t require much attention from your side to grow. If you plant them in a sunny location (that receives at least four hours of direct sun) and ensure you use well-draining soil, you shouldn’t have problems.

Water your plants with no more than one inch per week: if you live somewhere with regular rainfall, suspend your watering schedule during the wettest months.

You probably won’t need fertilizer: adding mulch around them will give your peas all the nutrients to thrive. Plus, it will help increase water retention and improve drainage: don’t forget to replace it every year!

When To Plant Peas In Iowa: Conclusion

Follow our tips to get the first fruits about 60 to 70 days after planting. Also, don’t forget to pick your peas with two hands to avoid damaging the plants.

Harvest your plants regularly to encourage peas production.

Iowa has a good climate for gardening and you may also like to consider growing carrots, tomatoes and cucumbers.