Pea Planting at the Coast
Is it really possible to plant peas in the fall on the Oregon coast and have edible peas the following spring and, if so, when would be the optimal time to sow the seeds?
Clatsop County Oregon
Here are some things to consider before planting fall peas for a spring crop.
Air and soil temperatures are critical. Planting too early or too late can compromise the growth of your vegetables. The minimum, optimum and maximum air temperatures (respectively) for planting peas are, 38-42 degrees, 50-60 degrees and 70-75 degrees. The minimum soil temperature 34-36 degrees. In the spring the soil is cold so many seeds rot before they have a chance to sprout. Since we have rainy winters on the north coast, there is an increased chance of peas rotting before the soil temperature in the spring is optimum for germination. Also, the nitrogen cycle, which is important for making nutrients available to plants, is inactive below 40 degrees.
You can improve your chances of success by plating in well drained soil and/or covering your plants with cloches to help prevent excessive moisture in the soil.
If we have a mild winter you may enjoy a successful crop. If the vines grow but the peas are not satisfactory you can turn them under in the spring and they will add nitrogen to the soil for your spring and summer crops.
Thank you for your question.