How And When To Pick Peas In America?

If you are willing to grow the peas in your field or your backyard and you are a new vegetable gardener, then so many questions pop up in your head from pea planting to harvesting process. I can presume the very first obvious question, which raises in your mind is to how and when to pick peas in America?

In America, the peas are sown in the early spring of each year. These are the winter vegetables. They need cold weather during their growing period. Therefore, do not sow them in summer months.  You can easily grow them, once you get the basic idea of picking them at best time. This idea only develops in your mind when you consider the planting time and growing conditions.

The pea pod and peas both are edible to eat. The recipes of both are indeed mouth-watering. Well, for that our first concern should be when to pick them. Harvest too early leads to the pea pod filled with only small few peas inside, while waiting for too late leads to the losing of sweet flavour from peas inside the hulls.

Appropriate Time for Picking Peas

Picking of peas entirely depends upon our requirement of the part of this vegetable that either we need pea or pea pod. There are three varieties of peas by harvesting time and the requirements of gardener, which are as below:

Garden Peas

For picking the peas of the ideal size, you cannot just go to your vegetable garden and start harvesting them. Initially, you will need to inspect each and every pea pod to ensure it is prepared to be yielded. You will easily get the idea of picking well-sized peas by the size and shape of the pea pods.

You can easily distinguish, which pea pods are ready for the harvesting and, which are not prepared for it. There are several ways you can inspect the pea pods whether they are prepared to be harvested or not. I have mentioned some of the ways as below.


Grow the Peas in Your Field or Your Backyard

You gently hold the pea pod with your hand and softly rub it. You will be able to feel the bumping of a pea pod and the chunks of mature peas inside this pod. If you will not feel the same way as I mentioned above then certainly the pea pod requires more couple of days to grow fatter.

You can also determine this by the closer examination of a pea pod. Outwardly it seems to be harvested, but after closer inspection, you will come to know whether it should be picked or not.

Peas are ready for the harvesting in around 60-70 days.

Sugar Snap Peas

If you want to pick only flat pea pods with small immature peas, then you should harvest them earlier before they get plump. They should be tender with immature seeds inside of pea pods. They should be picked when the pea pods split into two clear parts like string beans.

You should harvest sugar snap peas earlier and often because after a certain time these pea pods get more fibrous, which do not taste good. These pea pods are normally used in Asian meals.

Snow Peas

In this case, you may wait a bit more than the snap peas. In snow peas, the pods will also be flat, but you should bear in mind one thing that the size of peas should not be getting larger that the pods become tighter, rounder and contain more fibrous texture.

You can gently press the pods to feel the movement of pea seeds inside it. It is better to harvest these peas as early as possible so that the sweetness of pods and peas remain in considerable amount.

How to Pick Peas?

You should take care of pea pod while picking it up from the vines. The developed system of roots of this plant is shallow as the depth of roots is about 3′ below the earth surface. If you are not cautious about it, then you may take the whole plant out of the ground, while trying to pick the pea pod from the pea fence.

The trunks are also very soft that they can break easily by a gentle tug. Therefore you should be careful while you are harvesting the pea pods. I am giving you some tips, which will be surely helpful for picking peas:

  • It is appropriate if you use your both hands to pick peas. Use one of the hands to grab the vine and another one to hold the pea pod. This will prevent the sudden pulling of the plant from the pea fence.
  • If you pick pea plants at regular time intervals, they will produce more pea pods. Once the production starts, you should harvest peas in every 2-3 days to increase more pods on the plants. This is the common tendency of pea plants like pepper, green beans,
  • You can simply separate pea pod from the plant. Just grab the top of the pod gently with your index finger, and the middle fingers should be on the bottom of the pod.
  • Set your thumb on the top of the pod so that it remains between your two fingers.

By the application of gentle force using your thumb and index fingers on the pad will help to separate it from the vine. If the peas are well-sized for harvesting, then give them an extra tug. So they can get loose enough for the separation from the vine.


By considering the weather conditions of America, you should only grow this vegetable plant in your back yard during days of the winter season. Possibly early spring time should be the most appropriate time for this yield. Your requirements that either you need peas or pea pods simply give the answer of your question “when to pick peas.”

If you require pea pods, then you should harvest them before they get fattened up and contained the ideal size of peas inside. If you need peas only then check them whether they are ready to be harvested or not then follow the procedure, which I mentioned above. If you have any query regarding pea plants harvesting, then make comment below.

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