Pros: dwarf plants grow about two feet, they enrich the soil with nitrogen, easy to pick
Cons: not as sweet as anticipated, so-so germination
Peas are always an adventure in gardening for me. One of the pea varieties I grow are Dakota Peas. What is attractive about these peas is that they are compact, so they don't take a lot of growing space in the garden.
Dakota Peas are advertised as producing a lot of peas in a dwarf plant, with vines averaging 24" tall. It is recommended to plant them in the spring so that the 57-day harvest time arrives before the summer heat. Plant the seeds about an inch deep in an area with full sun. It is recommended to direct sow these seeds into the ground where they will grow.
I have mixed growing experiences when it comes to peas. Since peas are sowed directly into the ground (not transplanted) ... the weather plays an important part in how well they will perform. It is best to plant in the spring as soon as the soil is warm and dry enough for planting. Peas prefer cool weather. During the germination period, it is good to keep them watered, but too much wet soil might cause the seed to rot rather than germinate. Once the peas are growing, regular watering is important.
Since these are dwarf peas, the vines stay around two feet long. Usually, I will grow peas along a trellis. However, this year I decided to try an experiment and grow them in the planter portion of my Upside-Down Tomato Garden. This worked very well for me.
I placed organic soil in the planter with vegetable fertilizer. Then I liberally sprinkled the pea seed, covering it with about an inch of soil. After watering the freshly planted peas, it amazes me how many seeds migrate toward the surface. Gently poke the protruding seed back into the soil and recover it. Once the seed begins to germinate, though, don't try to force it down into the ground, or you may harm the root.
Planting these Dakota Peas in the planter worked out great. In early spring, I planted the seed, and I recently harvested it (end of June). I did not stake the dwarf vines. Instead, as the plants grew, they leaned against each other in support. Their tendrils helped keep them upright. The plants look great.
An interesting feature of peas is that they pull the nitrogen they need from the air. The nitrogen is then stored in nodules on the roots. So when the peas are done for the season, leave the roots in the ground so that the extra nitrogen disperses into the garden soil.
While I love the dwarf plant size of Dakota Peas, our family is not too thrilled with their pod size or taste. The pods contained an average of four peas. You need a lot of these pods for a meal! Since our crop did not produce enough for a meal (germination was on the slim side), we opted to eat these peas fresh from the vine. The peas were okay, but they didn't have that sweet fresh pea taste that is so great.
Jung Seed sells a packet of these seeds for $1.75, or a half pound for $4.95.
Our family enjoys peas, whether eating them fresh from the garden or cooking them for a meal. Unfortunately, these Dakota Peas didn't do well for us. Germination was so-so, and the taste of these peas was not as sweet as we expected. The vines are dwarf, though, as advertised.
I hope you found this review useful.
Enjoy the day,
Please read my other reviews:
Upside-Down Tomato Planter
Seeds: Ace Red & Green Peppers, Organic Lettuce Salad Bowl, Small Sugar Pumpkin
Tomato Seed: Matina Tomato, Mortgage Lifter
Bean Seed: Purple Beans, Soleil Yellow Beans, Maxibel Gourmet Bean
Squash Seed: Black Zucchini, Gadzukes Zucchini, Zucchini Italiano Largo, Zephyr Squash
Radish: Cherriette, French Breakfast
Cucumber Seed: Marketmore Cucumber, Spacemaster Cucumber
Other Plants: Canada Red Rhubarb, Egyptian Walking Onions, Jerusalem Artichokes
Flowers: Lilac Ice Opera Supreme Petunia, Pink Morn Opera Supreme Petunia
Copyright 2010 Dawn L. Stewart