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Mother Earth News, Sep/Oct 1987
The Easiest Seed-Saving Crops
By Nancy Bubel

In the tangle of the viny pea row it's hard, if not impossible, to distinguish between separate plants. For this reason, most seed keepers designate a stretch of row for seed production and let all the pods in that section mature. You can expect about one pound of seed from each 15 feet of row. Pods should dry thoroughly before harvest, and even then it's a good idea to pile the pulled vines loosely in a dry, well-ventilated spot to air-dry further before threshing. Regular peas will only rarely cross with sugar peas, and this isn't common enough to concern the home gardener.

The Arc Institute

Plant early and mulch pea roots to keep them cool during hot weather. Short growing season of about 2 months. Plant 1/2 to 1”” deep, a double row 3” apart with the planets 1 1/2” apart in each row, with a walking lane 18” between each set of double planting rows. Climbing peas need a trellis or fence. Hold back enough seed to replant is extended wet cold weather results in damping off. However, early planting is fine, as peas love cool soil. Rhizobium bacteria on roots put Nitrogen back to the soil. Shelling peas are high in protein, and should be picked for food when the pods are rounded and filled with swollen peas. Snow peas are harvested for food when the pods are thin, flat, and the peas barely visible. When collecting seed, leave on the vine until the pods are dry.