About Little Marvel Pea: Though no one really knows when peas were first cultivated, historians can be certain that people grew them for food by the Bronze Age. Legend has it that fresh peas first became popular when a French gardener introduced them to the court of Louis XIV. Because they could be dried and stored for long periods of time, people in colonial times also valued this vegetable. Horticulturalists and gardeners alike have continued cultivating peas of all varieties and sizes. Little Marvel peas were introduced in 1908, and won the distinguished AAS award in 1934.
Little Marvel Pea Germination: Because peas thrive in cool weather and do not transplant well, they should be planted outside 4-6 weeks before the last frost or when the average soil temperature reaches at least 40 degrees F. If planting later, remember that most peas won't tolerate weather above 75 degrees F. If planting peas in your soil for the first time, keep in mind that a powder inoculant of beneficial bacteria should coat the seeds. Plant the peas 2" apart and 2" deep in light soil and full sun; plant in double rows 6-8" apart to allow for a trellis. For an early spring crop, plant in the same manner in the fall. Peas do not do well when planted near onions or garlic.
Growing Little Marvel Pea Seeds: As the vines begin growing, a trellis can support their climbing habit; any kind of support 5-6' tall should be sufficient, but if not provided, the vines will simply travel over the ground. Before they bloom, pea plants need to be kept moist but not wet; after blooming, slightly increase the watering. Remove weeds carefully to avoid disturbing the plants; mulch may be helpful to conserve moisture and control weeds. Little Marvel peas are fusarium wilt resistant.
Harvesting Little Marvel Pea: Shelling peas generally taste best when harvested as soon as the pods have filled out, but before they reach their full size. Remove even the pods that have passed their prime, since old pods left on the vines will stop the production of new pods. Little Marvel vines are known for their heavy yield.
Saving Little Marvel Pea Seeds: To save seed from garden peas, let the pods mature fully on the vine; they will turn brown, and the peas should rattle inside when they have dried completely. Pick them individually, or pull the entire plant and hang it upside down in a warm, dry location to finish drying. Shell the peas after 1-2 weeks of drying. Store the seed in a cool, dry place for up to three years.
Detailed Little Marvel Pea Info: Pisum sativum. Annual. 63 days. 135 seeds per oz. 12-18" height. 2-4" spacing. Produces 3-4" shelling pods.