Germinating Vs. Non Germinating Peas

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Peas are typically easy to germinate and grow in the garden.
Peas are typically easy to germinate and grow in the garden. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Peas, known botanically as Pisum sativum, are cool and warm season annual legumes that form vines and climb with fine curling tendrils. The edible bean or pea grow in multiples inside elongated pea pods and the individual beans are also used as seeds to propagate the plant. The pea seeds store all of the plant nutrients and energy needed for germination and to sustain the plant until they have above soil growth that can conduct photosynthesis. Dried pea seeds that have a germinating capacity will have an ongoing respiration process while non-germinating seeds will not, according to a study at Colorado State University. When planted seeds must be relatively fresh to boost the odds of germination.

Things You'll Need

  • Fresh dried peas/seeds
  • Loose soil with organic matter
  • Water

Use relatively fresh and active dried pea seeds that are 3 years of age or younger. Older pea seeds are likely to be non-germinating.

Sow the pea seeds when ambient temperatures rise to between 40 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit and optimally when they reach 75 degrees Fahrenheit to support germination. This often translates into late March or early to mid-April depending on the climate where you live.

Plant the pea seeds in very well drained and loose, friable garden soil that is rich in organic compounds and has a slightly acidic to neutral pH of 6 to 7.

Nestle the pea seed 1 to 1 1/2 inches deep in the soil patting the cover soil into place just lightly with your palm or fingertips.

Water the soil and pea seeds lightly and regularly enough to keep the surrounding soil evenly moist but not soaking wet until after germination.

Allow nine to 13 days for germination to occur and small green shoots to be visible above the soil when the soil temperature remains between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow longer, up to four to five weeks, for germination in soil temperatures at 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Peas that have not germinated within these windows may be non-germinating.

References

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