Gone are the days when mushy peas were a dinner staple. Now, fresh peas are served in salads or even as a snack, and certain types of peas are great in stir-fries.
If you’re planning your garden, check out these varieties of peas for a fun, easy vegetable to grow.
3 Basic Types of Peas
While there are many varieties of peas, they are sorted into three main categories: English peas, Snow peas, and Sugar Snap peas.
If you are looking for a traditional garden pea variety, then English peas is the category for you. While they do not have edible pods, inside you will find large peas that can be cooked in many different ways.
Spring peas have a nice, sweet flavor and you will get plenty of pods in each plant. If you’re someone who want large peas, this is a great variety as there are usually between 6 and 8 peas per pod.
The vines of Spring peas will reach about 2 feet tall and they are ready 60 days after you plant them.
With a sweet, but no too-sweet, taste, Survivor peas are still a tasty treat. They have a lot of peas in their pod, up to 8 or 9.
Survivor peas take about 70 days to grow. Once they are ready, you will notice that their vines are close together and reach about 2 feet tall.
With a moderately sweet taste, Thomas Laxton peas are a real hit if you want juicy, plump peas. You can expect pods to grow up to 4 inches in length and on average of 8 or 9 peas inside.
Their vines are rather long and can grow to 3 feet tall. Be sure to have a proper climbing apparatus for this variety.
A versatile variety, Wando peas thrive in both cold weather and warm temperatures. They take about 70 days to be ready.
Each pod will hold about 7 to 8 peas which are medium-sized. The vines grow to be about 2 ½ feet tall and the peas themselves are semi-sweet.
If you are willing to wait a bit longer to enjoy sweet-tasting peas, then the Garden Sweet variety is perfect. They take about 75 days to grow, which is a bit longer than other varieties but their sweet taste makes them a gardener’s favorite.
Garden Sweet peas have quite long pods, about 3 ½ inches in length. Inside you will find 9 to 10 peas which are medium-sized.
Another gardening hit, Mr. Big peas are ready in a shorter time, around 60 days. They produce large pods that are bright green in color.
Mr. Big peas have 9 to 10 peas inside, and they are on the larger end of the plant spectrum. Really, everything about this variety is big, including the vines which grow to be 4 feet tall. Due to their large size, you will want enough support so the vines don’t topple over.
If you want an endless supply of peas, the Maestro variety won’t let you down. They are ready in 60 days so you won’t have to wait long, and once they are ready, you’ll be rewarded with sweet-tasting peas.
Maestro pea pods are quite long, measuring 4 ½ inches. They have 10 to 11 peas inside, which are medium-sized.
Warmer climates will do well with Lincoln peas as they are better able to tolerate heat than most pea varieties. They are ready in 70 days, which is fairly average.
Lincoln peas grow to be 2 to 3 feet tall and have 7 to 8 peas inside. They are sweet-tasting and their despite their tenderness, they freeze well.
Perfect for smaller backyard gardens, Little Marvel peas only grow about 2 feet in size. Their pods are a nice 3 inches long, and 7 to 8 pods are in each pea.
In 65 days your peas will be ready to eat and when you bite into them you’ll find a tender texture and a sweet taste.
Ready in 60 days, Misty Shell peas don’t make you wait to bite into them. The plants are quite short, growing to only be about 1 ½ feet tall.
The pods are pretty average and measure around 3 inches in size. You will find about 7 to 8 peas in each pod and they have a pleasantly high yield.
While Snow peas are rather small, the pods themselves are definitely edible when eaten raw. you can munch on Snow peas fresh from the vine and they can also be cooked and are often used in stir-fries.
Gorgeous in color, the dark green pods are a true testament to their nutritional benefit. They take about 60 days to grow, which is pretty average.
Avalanche peas are quite large, and the pods can be 6 inches long. They are tender and sweet, and as a nice bonus are disease resistant.
Ready in 60 days, Snowbird peas are pretty fast-growing. They are small in size, as the plants only reach 1 ½ feet tall and the pods themselves are just 3 inches long.
Snowbird peas have a nice, sweet taste to them. Furthermore, you can expect a lot of peas to grow from this variety.
Gray sugar snow peas are a pretty typical variety of pea. They are ready in a nice, 65 days, and have a slightly sweet taste to them.
You can expect 3-inch long pods that are tender in texture. The plants themselves grow to be about 1 ½ feet tall.
Tender and sweet is how you would best describe Sugar Daddy peas. They take a bit longer to grow, about 70 days, but are worth the wait.
The vines grow to be 2 feet tall and the pods are about 3 inches long. This variety is a favorite among gardeners as they are disease-resistant.
Oregon Sugar Pods
While larger than other snow pea varieties, Oregon Sugar Pods are still lovely and sweet tasting and not as tough in texture as you would expect.
They grow to be 2 ½ inches tall and take about 70 days to mature. The pods are quite long, measuring about 4 ½ inches. They are also disease resistant.
Oregon Sugar Pod #2
Similar to their original variety, Oregon Sugar Pod #2 peas also take 70 days to mature. They grow to be 4 inches long and usually grow in bunches of two pods.
Oregon Sugar Pod #2 has vines that reach 2 ½ feet tall and they are disease resistant. Furthermore, they produce a lot which makes them a favorite of gardeners.
Mammoth Melting Sugar
Their name says it all. Mammoth Melting Sugar peas are incredibly large; they grow to be 5 ½ inches long and are incredibly thick.
Furthermore, the vines grow to be 4 to 5 inches tall. Once mature, you will find sweet peas, and because of their thick texture, they cook really well.
Sugar snap peas
If you are looking for a versatile pea that can be either eaten raw or cooked, sugar snap peas are a great place to start. You can expect large peas with plump pods. They are the sweetest types of peas.
When you’re growing peas, be sure to include this favorite. Sugar Snap peas are incredibly sweet and produce an amazing amount of peas.
Sugar Snap peas are a very tall pea plant. Make sure you have room for the 6-foot tall vines as they can quickly take over the garden.
Super Sugar Snap VP
If you want a really sweet pea, then check out the Super Sugar Snap VP. The variety is the king of sweetness and a favorite among kids.
Super Sugar Snap VP peas have pods that are 3 inches in length. The vines grow about 5 to 6 feet tall and the peas are ready in 65 days.
Quick and bountiful, Sugar Bon peas are ready in just 55 days. They are very sweet tasting and perfect for munching on while you garden.
Sugar Bon peas grow to be 2 feet tall and are quite plump when mature. The pods are about 3 inches long.
If you’re impatient waiting for your peas to grow, try Sugar Ann peas, as they are ready in just 55 days. Crisp and super sweet, these are a great plant to grow in your garden.
The vines grow to be 2-feet tall and the medium-sized pods have about 7 peas inside.
While it may be hard to find this variety of pea for your garden, if you do come across it, you won’t be disappointed. Super Snappy peas are ready in just 65 days and are both crisp and sweet.
This variety only grows 3 feet tall but the pods themselves can be quite large. Expect about 9 peas in each pod.
What is the most common type of pea?
The most common type of pea are those under the umbrella of English peas. These garden peas are easy to grow. Just carve out some time for shelling peas as the pods are tough and inedible.
Peas are a fun vegetable to grow in the garden. You can grow English peas which need to be shelled, or you can grow Sugar peas and Snow peas which you can eat right off the vine.
Whichever you choose, peas are nutritious and tasty, and make a healthy addition to any meal.