Split Peas are a member of the legume family, and have a mild, earthy flavor. They are revered for their high protein content and their ease of preparation — simply soak, then simmer in a pot of water until tender. Split Peas are commonly used in soups, stews, casseroles, and loaves, and their mild flavor mixes well with more robust flavors like garlic, onion, and herbs & spices.
Growing Split Peas With Care & Attention Split peas, those little green gems of goodness, have a lot more to offer than just being a staple ingredient in soups. With a little care and attention, you can cultivate these legumes right in your own backyard. I’ve had the pleasure of growing split peas for several years now, and I’ve learned a thing or two along the way. First and foremost, select a sunny spot in your garden where your split peas can bask in the warm rays of the sun. These little plants thrive in full sunlight, so make sure they get at least 6–8 hours of direct light every day. Prepare the soil by loosening it with a garden fork, removing any weeds, and adding some well-rotted compost to provide the necessary nutrients. When it comes to planting split peas, timing is key. Wait until the soil is warm and the danger of frost has passed. With your fingertips, create shallow furrows in the soil, about 1 inch deep and 2–3 inches apart. Place the split peas in the furrows, spacing them about 1–2 inches apart. Cover them lightly with soil, patting it down gently. Water your split peas regularly, keeping the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Remember, split peas are members of the legume family, and like their relatives, they have the ability to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere into the soil. This makes them a fantastic natural fertilizer for other plants. However, if you notice yellowing leaves or stunted growth, it’s a sign that your split peas might need a boost of nitrogen. Consider adding a nitrogen-rich organic fertilizer to give them a helping hand. As your split pea plants grow, provide support for their delicate tendrils to climb. A trellis, stakes, or even a simple fence will do the trick. Keeping them off the ground not only allows for better air circulation, preventing diseases, but also makes harvesting a breeze. And trust me, there’s nothing more satisfying than picking those plump, mature pods straight from the vine. Now, here comes the tricky part — harvesting at the right time. Allow your split pea pods to mature fully on the plant before picking them. The pods should be dry, brittle, and turn a golden yellow color. If you’re unsure, open a few pods and check if the peas inside are hard and firm. If they are, congratulations, your split peas are ready to be harvested and enjoyed! With the right care and attention, you’ll soon be rewarded with an abundant harvest of split peas. Whether you choose to use them in soups, stews, or other dishes, these little green wonders will add a burst of flavor and a healthy dose of protein to your culinary adventures. So go ahead, give split pea gardening a try and discover the joy of growing your own food! In the wise words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn. As you embark on this journey of growing split peas, remember that every little seed holds the potential for something great. Cherish the process, learn from each experience, and embrace the satisfaction of nurturing life from seed to plate. If you want to learn more about the wonders of split peas and how they can transform your cooking, check out my related article on the versatility and health benefits of this humble legume. Happy growing and bon appétit! Link to related article: The Versatility and Health Benefits of Split Peas Learn more about gardening on our site, or try our free gardening app!