As spring approaches, pea seeds are some of the first seeds that go into our gardens. Seeds germinate based on soil temperature and soil temperature can stay quite cold even when the days get into the 50's and 60's here or there. The cold soil can greatly delay germination and that is a problem for peas seeds. The longer they sit swollen with moisture, waiting to germinate, in cold soil, the greater the chance of rotting. Mold and other soil microbes usually takes hold and the pea seed is digested when they sit in the ground for weeks.
Pea plants can manage well in cold weather and can even take a frost. The plants, though fragile with hollow stems, are quite hardy in the cold. A pea seed will actually germinate in 2-4 days indoors. A seed sitting in soil that is too cold, can sit for weeks without germinating. That is too long for a pea seed to be vulnerable.
Simply place peas in a bowl, add some water, slowly add a little more as it is absorb over the first day. Keep the seeds moist but not sitting in water, and in 2-4 days you will see signs of germination. As soon as you see a little white root tip emerging, plant them.
You can avoid the entire period of risk a pea seed goes through by planting germinated seeds. My video quickly covers the entire process. Not only do you greatly decrease the risk of rotting pea seeds, you will have actual plants growing much earlier in your garden and therefore will get a future harvest more quickly to your table.
My video 45 second video can be viewed through this link, Best Pea Planting Tip Ever: Speed Up Germination, Growth, and Prevent Rotting in Cold Soil or click the photos as they are linked to the short video.
You only need to do this for seeds going into cold ground early in the season. Once the soil sit regularly at 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit, you can direct sow them. However, this method will always speed up the germination process.
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