By: Amy Grant
I consider peas to be a real harbinger of spring since they are one of the first things out of my garden at the start of the growing season. There are numerous sweet pea varieties available, but if you’re looking for an early season crop, try growing the ‘Daybreak’ pea variety. What are Daybreak pea plants? The following contains information on how to grow and care for Daybreak peas.
What are Daybreak Peas?
The ‘Daybreak’ pea variety is an early sweet shelling pea notable for its compact vines which make the plants perfect for small garden spaces or container gardening. Just remember if growing Daybreak peas in a container to provide a trellis for them to clamber up.
Daybreak matures in about 54 days and is resistant to fusarium wilt. This cultivar only reaches to about 24 inches (61 cm.) in height. Again, perfect for small scale gardens. Daybreak peas are great for freezing and, of course, eaten fresh.
How to Grow Daybreak Peas
Peas absolutely need two things: cool weather and a support trellis. Plan to plant peas when temperatures are between 60-65 F. (16-18 C.). Seeds can be sown directly outside or started 6 weeks prior to the average last frost for your area.
Peas should be planted in an area that is well-drained, rich in organic matter and in full sun. The composition of the soil affects eventual yield. Soil that is sandy facilitates early pea production, while clay soils produce later but larger yields.
Plant pea seeds 2 inches (5 cm.) deep and 2 inches apart and water in well. Keep the peas consistently moist but not sodden, and water at the base of the plant to prevent fungal infection. Fertilize the vines midseason.
Pick the peas when the pods are full but before the peas have a chance to harden. Shell and eat or freeze the peas as soon as possible from harvest. The longer the peas sit around, the less sweet they become as their sugars are turned into starch.
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How to Plant, Grow, and Harvest Peas
Peas are a delicious and easy to grow food suitable for almost any garden or homestead. There are many types and varieties of peas that may fit in well with your garden plans. You can choose from dwarf or vining varieties, snow, sweet, or snap peas, edible or inedible pods, quick harvesting or longer, sweeter growing peas.
If you are looking to add peas to your garden or homestead, you will need to know how to plant, grow, and harvest your peas. Here are some of the best reasons to grow peas, what varieties you might like to try, and how to deal with pea pests and diseases.
Daybreak Pea Plants: Learn About Growing Daybreak Peas In The Garden - garden
Peas are one of the oldest cultivated vegetables. There are three main types of peas grown today. The Garden or English Pea is the most familiar type. Peas are shelled to remove them from the pod, which is generally tough and inedible. The Snow or Sugar Pea produces tender, edible pods that are harvested when the peas are small and undeveloped. The Snap Pea was developed within the last 30 years in the United States. Eaten like a snap bean, the mature plant produces delicious edible pods and sweet, full-size peas. Untreated pea seeds are available.
Growing Tips: Plant peas as soon as you can safely work the ground in early spring. If temperatures are averaging around 60-65°F., seeds will germinate in one week. Some varieties will need trellising because of their large vines. Smaller, bush varieties need not be trellised unless desired. Harvest English Peas when pods are large and rounded with mature peas. Leave in shell until just before cooking to preserve sweetness. Snow Peas should be picked when peas are still small to preserve tender pods and sweet taste.
Fresh Market Grower Tips:
Freshly picked, sweet peas are a sure sign of summer, and customers head for Farmers’ Markets, roadside stands, and other direct-market sources for the finest pods. Three main types of peas are grown today. Standard Pea varieties are the most familiar, also known as Garden, English, or Shelling Peas. The pods of Standard varieties are tough and inedible, so the sweet peas inside are shelled out for culinary use. Snow Pea varieties produce tender, edible, flat pods that are harvested when the pea berries are small and undeveloped. Snap Pea varieties, developed in the United States within the last 30 years, also offer delicious edible pods. However, Snap Pea pods are fleshy, juicy, and filled with sweet, full-sized peas at harvest time. The pods develop sugar as they become plump, so pick them when the sides of the pod become rounded rather than flat.
As soon in the spring as you can work your ground without damaging it, you can plant peas. Select a fertile, well-drained loam with a pH of 6.0-6.8.Plant seed at a uniform 1-2 depth. Peas do not need to be trellised unless noted. In some climates, peas may also be sown in late summer to mature in the fall.
Maturity dates listed are from direct seeding, and should be used for variety comparison only.
Avg. Seed Count: 2000/Lb. 250/Pkt
CW = common wilt
FW = Fusarium wilt
DM = downy mildew
PM = powdery mildew
PEV = pea enation virus
PLRV = pea leaf roll virus
BYMV = bean yellow mosaic virus
Bloomtime Range: not applicable
USDA Hardiness Zone: undefined
AHS Heat Zone: Not defined for this plant
Light Range: Part Sun to Full Sun
pH Range: 5 to 8
Soil Range: Sandy Loam to Loam
Water Range: Normal to Moist
How-to : Fertilization for Annuals and Perennials
Annuals and perennials may be fertilized using: 1.water-soluble, quick release fertilizers 2. temperature controlled slow-release fertilizers or 3. organic fertilizers such as fish emulsion. Water soluble fertilizers are generally used every two weeks during the growing season or per label instructions. Controlled, slow-release fertilizers are worked into the soil ususally only once during the growing season or per label directions. For organic fertilizers such as fish emulsion, follow label directions as they may vary per product.
Sun is defined as the continuous, direct, exposure to 6 hours (or more) of sunlight per day.
Conditions : Light Conditions
Unless a site is completely exposed, light conditions will change during the day and even during the year. The northern and eastern sides of a house receive the least amount of light, with the northern exposure being the shadiest. The western and southern sides of a house receive the most light and are considered the hottest exposures due to intense afternoon sun.
You will notice that sun and shade patterns change during the day. The western side of a house may even be shady due to shadows cast by large trees or a structure from an adjacent property. If you have just bought a new home or just beginning to garden in your older home, take time to map sun and shade throughout the day. You will get a more accurate feel for your site's true light conditions.
Conditions : Full to Partial Sun
Full sunlight is needed for many plants to assume their full potential. Many of these plants will do fine with a little less sunlight, although they may not flower as heavily or their foliage as vibrant. Areas on the southern and western sides of buildings usually are the sunniest. The only exception is when houses or buildings are so close together, shadows are cast from neighboring properties. Full sun usually means 6 or more hours of direct unobstructed sunlight on a sunny day. Partial sun receives less than 6 hours of sun, but more than 3 hours. Plants able to take full sun in some climates may only be able to tolerate part sun in other climates. Know the culture of the plant before you buy and plant it!
Conditions : Light and Plant Selection
For best plant performance, it is desirable to match the correct plant with the available light conditions. Right plant, right place! Plants which do not receive sufficient light may become pale in color, have fewer leaves and a "leggy" stretched-out appearance. Also expect plants to grow slower and have fewer blooms when light is less than desirable. It is possible to provide supplemental lighting for indoor plants with lamps. Plants can also receive too much light. If a shade loving plant is exposed to direct sun, it may wilt and/or cause leaves to be sunburned or otherwise damaged.
Full Sun is defined as exposure to more than 6 hours of continuous, direct sun per day.
Normal is defined as regular watering to a depth of 18 inches, but periodically dries out in the top 7 inches between waterings.
Conditions : Moist and Well Drained
Moist and well drained means exactly what it sounds like. Soil is moist without being soggy because the texture of the soil allows excess moisture to drain away. Most plants like about 1 inch of water per week. Amending your soil with compost will help improve texture and water holding or draining capacity. A 3 inch layer of mulch will help to maintain soil moisture and studies have shown that mulched plants grow faster than non-mulched plants.
Conditions : Outdoor Watering
Plants are almost completely made up of water so it is important to supply them with adequate water to maintain good plant health. Not enough water and roots will wither and the plant will wilt and die. Too much water applied too frequently deprives roots of oxygen leading to plant diseases such as root and stem rots. The type of plant, plant age, light level, soil type and container size all will impact when a plant needs to be watered. Follow these tips to ensure successful watering:
* The key to watering is water deeply and less frequently. When watering, water well, i.e. provide enough water to thoroughly saturate the root ball. With in-ground plants, this means thoroughly soaking the soil until water has penetrated to a depth of 6 to 7 inches (1' being better). With container grown plants, apply enough water to allow water to flow through the drainage holes.
* Try to water plants early in the day or later in the afternoon to conserve water and cut down on plant stress. Do water early enough so that water has had a chance to dry from plant leaves prior to night fall. This is paramount if you have had fungus problems.
* Don't wait to water until plants wilt. Although some plants will recover from this, all plants will die if they wilt too much (when they reach the permanent wilting point).
* Consider water conservation methods such as drip irrigation, mulching, and xeriscaping. Drip systems which slowly drip moisture directly on the root system can be purchased at your local home and garden center. Mulches can significantly cool the root zone and conserve moisture.
* Consider adding water-saving gels to the root zone which will hold a reserve of water for the plant. These can make a world of difference especially under stressful conditions. Be certain to follow label directions for their use.
Conditions : Normal Watering for Outdoor Plants
Normal watering means that soil should be kept evenly moist and watered regularly, as conditions require. Most plants like 1 inch of water a week during the growing season, but take care not to over water. The first two years after a plant is installed, regular watering is important for establishment. The first year is critical. It is better to water once a week and water deeply, than to water frequently for a few minutes.
How-to : Planting Vines & Climbers
Choose the planting site for your climber carefully: its long flexible stems may need some shelter, but planting right next to a wall might keep it from the sun or water it needs. Make sure that there's room for the climber to grow when it gets tall, and remember that it will grow towards the sun unless carefully trained. Be sure you will be able to manage the plant once it becomes tall, or that if it has a mind of its own, it won't become a problem.
Select a support structure before you plant your climber. Common support structures are trellises, wires, strings, or existing structures. Some plants, like ivy, climb by aerial roots and need no support. Aerial rooted climbers are fine for concrete and masonary, but should never be allowed to climb on wood. Clematis climbs by leaf stalks and the Passion flower by coiling tendrils. Akebia and Wisteria climb by twining stems in a spiral fashion around its support.
Do not use permanent ties the plant will quickly outgrow them. Use soft, flexible ties (twist-ties work well), or even strips of pantyhose, and check them every few months. Make sure that your support structure is strong, rust-proof, and will last the life of the plant. Anchor your support structure before you plant your climber.
Dig a hole large enough for the root ball. Plant the climber at the same level it was in the container. Plant a little deeper for clematis or for grafted plants. Fill the hole with soil, firming as you, and water well. As soon as the stems are long enough to reach their support structure, gently and loosely tie them as necessary.
If planting in a container, follow the same guidelines. Plan ahead by adding a trellis to the pot, especially if the container will not be positioned where a support for the vine is not readily available. It is possible for vines and climbers to ramble on the ground or cascade over walls too. Clematis and Roses actually work quite well this way.
How-to : Preparing Garden Beds
Use a soil testing kit to determine the acidity or alkalinity of the soil before beginning any garden bed preparation. This will help you determine which plants are best suited for your site. Check soil drainage and correct drainage where standing water remains. Clear weeds and debris from planting areas and continue to remove weeds as soon as they come up.
A week to 10 days before planting, add 2 to 4 inches of aged manure or compost and work into the planting site to improve fertility and increase water retention and drainage. If soil composition is weak, a layer of topsoil should be considered as well. No matter if your soil is sand or clay, it can be improved by adding the same thing: organic matter. The more, the better work deep into the soil. Prepare beds to an 18 inch deep for perennials. This will seem like a tremendous amount of work now, but will greatly pay off later. Besides, this is not something that is easily done later, once plants have been established.
How-to : Preparing Containers
Containers are excellent when used as an ornamental feature, a planting option when there is little or no soil to plant in, or for plants that require a soil type not found in the garden or when soil drainage in the garden is inferior. If growing more than one plant in a container, make sure that all have similar cultural requirements. Choose a container that is deep and large enough to allow root development and growth as well as proportional balance between the fully developed plant and the container. Plant large containers in the place you intend them to stay. All containers should have drainage holes. A mesh screen, broken clay pot pieces(crock) or a paper coffee filter placed over the hole will keep soil from washing out. The potting soil you select should be an appropriate mix for the plants you have chosen. Quality soils (or soil-less medias) absorb moisture readily and evenly when wet. If water runs off soil upon initial wetting, this is an indicator that your soil may not be as good as you think.
Prior to filling a container with soil, wet potting soil in the bag or place in a tub or wheelbarrow so that it is evenly moist. Fill container about halfway full or to a level that will allow plants, when planted, to be just below the rim of the pot. Rootballs should be level with soil line when project is complete. Water well.
Now is the preferred time to sow seed.
Pest : Slugs and Snails
Slugs and snails favor moist climates and are mollusks, not insects. They can be voracious feeders, eating just about anything that is not woody or highly scented. They may eat holes in leaves, strip entire stems, or completely devour seedlings and tender transplants, leaving behind tell-tale silvery, slimy trails.
Prevention and control: Keep your garden as clean as possible, eliminating hiding places such as leaf debris, over-turned pots, and tarps. Groundcover in shady places and heavy mulches provide protection from the elements and can be favorite hiding places. In the spring, patrol for and destroy eggs (clusters of small translucent spheres) and adults during dusk and dawn. Set out beer traps from late spring through fall.
Many chemical controls are available on the market, but can be poisonous and deadly for children and pets take care when using them - always read the label first!
Aphids are small, soft-bodied, slow-moving insects that suck fluids from plants. Aphids come in many colors, ranging from green to brown to black, and they may have wings. They attack a wide range of plant species causing stunting, deformed leaves and buds. They can transmit harmful plant viruses with their piercing/sucking mouthparts. Aphids, generally, are merely a nuisance, since it takes many of them to cause serious plant damage. However aphids do produce a sweet substance called honeydew (coveted by ants) which can lead to an unattractive black surface growth called sooty mold.
Aphids can increase quickly in numbers and each female can produce up to 250 live nymphs in the course of a month without mating. Aphids often appear when the environment changes - spring & fall. They're often massed at the tips of branches feeding on succulent tissue. Aphids are attracted to the color yellow and will often hitchhike on yellow clothing.
Prevention and Control: Keep weeds to an absolute minimum, especially around desirable plants. On edibles, wash off infected area of plant. Lady bugs and lacewings will feed on aphids in the garden. There are various products - organic and inorganic - that can be used to control aphids. Seek the recommendation of a professional and follow all label procedures to a tee.
Most rusts are host specific and overwinter on leaves, stems and spent flower debris. Rust often appears as small, bright orange, yellow, or brown pustules on the underside of leaves. If touched, it will leave a colored spot of spores on the finger. Caused by fungi and spread by splashing water or rain, rust is worse when weather is moist.
Prevention and Control: Plant resistant varieties and provide maximum air circulation. Clean up all debris, especially around plants that have had a problem. Do not water from overhead and water only during the day so that plants will have enough time to dry before night. Apply a fungicide labeled for rust on your plant.
Powdery Mildew is usually found on plants that do not have enough air circulation or adequate light. Problems are worse where nights are cool and days are warm and humid. The powdery white or gray fungus is usually found on the upper surface of leaves or fruit. Leaves will often turn yellow or brown, curl up, and drop off. New foliage emerges crinkled and distorted. Fruit will be dwarfed and often drops early.
Prevention and Control: Plant resistant varieties and space plants properly so they receive adequate light and air circulation. Always water from below, keeping water off the foliage. This is paramount for roses. Go easy on the nitrogen fertilizer. Apply fungicides according to label directions before problem becomes severe and follow directions exactly, not missing any required treatments. Sanitation is a must - clean up and remove all leaves, flowers, or debris in the fall and destroy.
Diseases : Pythium and Phytophtora Root Rot
Rot Rot, Pythium or Phytophthora occurs when soil moisture levels are excessively high and fungal spores present in the soil, come in contact with the susceptible plant. The base of stems discolor and shrink, and leaves further up the stalk wilt and die. Leaves near base are affected first. The roots will turn black and rot or break. This fungi can be introduced by using unsterilized soil mix or contaminated water.
Prevention and Control Remove affected plants and their roots, and discard surrounding soil. Replace with plants that are not susceptible, and only use fresh, sterilized soil mix. Hold back on fertilizing too. Try not to over water plants and make sure that soil is well drained prior to planting. This fungus is not treatable by chemicals.
Rhizoctonia Root and Stem Rot symptoms look similar to Pythium Root Rot, but the Rhizoctonia fungus seems to thrive in well drained soils.
Leaf spots are caused by fungi or bacteria. Brown or black spots and patches may be either ragged or circular, with a water soaked or yellow-edged appearance. Insects, rain, dirty garden tools, or even people can help its spread.
Prevention and Control: Remove infected leaves when the plant is dry. Leaves that collect around the base of the plant should be raked up and disposed of. Avoid overhead irrigation if possible water should be directed at soil level. For fungal leaf spots, use a recommended fungicide according to label directions.
Glossary : Arbors, Trellises, Pergolas
Arbors, trellises, and pergolas provide vines and climbers the support needed for their growth habit. These can be used as features or accents in a garden to add height, to provide shade, or as a transitional element from one area of the garden to another. Common materials for these structures include wood, metal, and plastic. Select according to the style of your garden and the amount of upkeep required. Painted, wooden structures will be higher maintenance, whereas a rust-proof metal structure will require less maintenance and last longer.
Glossary : Container Plant
A plant that is considered to be a good container plant is one that does not have a tap root, but rather a more confined, fibrous root system. Plants that usually thrive in containers are slow- growing or relatively small in size. Plants are more adaptable than people give them credit for. Even large growing plants can be used in containers when they are very young, transplanted to the ground when older. Many woody ornamentals make wonderful container plants as well as annuals, perennials, vegetables, herbs, and bulbs.
Glossary : Mass Planting
Mass is one of the elements of design and relates directly to balance. Mass planting is defined as the grouping of three or more of the same type of plants in one area. When massing plants, keep in mind what visual effect they will have. Small properties require smaller masses where larger properties can handle larger masses or sweeps of plants.
Sandy Loam refers to a soil that drains well, with excellent air space, and evenly crumbled texture when squeezed in the hand. A good workable garden soil that benefits from added fertilizer and proper watering. Dark gray to gray-brown in color.
Loam is the ideal soil, having the perfect balance between particle size, air space, organic matter and water holding capacity. It forms a nice ball when squeezed in the palm of the hand, but crumbles easily when lightly tapped with a finger. Rich color ranges between gray brown to almost black.
An annual is any plant that completes its life cycle in one growing season.
Seed Start: easily propagated from seed.
Glossary : Plant Characteristics
Plant characteristics define the plant, enabling a search that finds specific types of plants such as bulbs, trees, shrubs, grass, perennials, etc.
Glossary : Flower Characteristics
Flower characteristics can vary greatly and may help you decide on a ""look or feel"" for your garden. If you're looking for fragrance or large, showy flowers, click these boxes and possibilities that fit your cultural conditions will be shown. If you have no preference, leave boxes unchecked to return a greater number of possibilities.
Glossary : Foliage Characteristics
By searching foliage characteristics, you will have the opportunity to look for foliage with distinguishable features such as variegated leaves, aromatic foliage, or unusual texture, color or shape. This field will be most helpful to you if you are looking for accent plants. If you have no preference, leave this field blank to return a larger selection of plants.
An edible is a plant that has a part or all of it that can be safely consumed in some way.
A soil type is defined by granule size, drainage, and amount of organic material in the soil. The three main soil types are sand, loam and clay. Sand has the largest particle size, no organic matter, little to no fertility, and drains rapidly. Clay, at the opposite end of the spectrum, has the smallest particle size, can be rich in organic matter, fertility and moisture, but is often unworkable because particles are held together too tightly, resulting in poor drainage when wet, or is brick-like when dry. The optimum soil type is loam, which is the happy median between sand and clay: It is high in organic matter, nutrient-rich, and has the perfect water holding capacity.
You will often hear loam referred to as a sandy loam (having more sand, yet still plenty of organic matter) or a clay loam (heavier on the clay, yet workable with good drainage.) The addition of organic matter to either sand or clay will result in a loamy soil. Still not sure if your soil is a sand, clay, or loam? Try this simple test. Squeeze a handfull of slightly moist, not wet, soil in your hand. If it forms a tight ball and does not fall apart when gently tapped with a finger, your soil is more than likely clay. If soil does not form a ball or crumbles before it is tapped, it is sand to very sandy loam. If soil forms a ball, then crumbles readily when lightly tapped, it's a loam. Several quick, light taps could mean a clay loam.
Fertilize just before new growth begins with a complete fertilizer.
Four Ways to Grow Quick-Maturing Crops
Here are four strategies to get the most out of your garden:
- Succession cropping. Rather than sowing or planting the crops you want to eat all at once, space them out over time so that your harvest is continuous, not a glut. Quick-maturing crops planted every two weeks in succession will keep your garden producing through the season. When the first sowing appears above the ground, make the next sowing.
- Intercropping matches a quick-maturing crop with a slower maturing crop. At planting time place a quick-maturing crops next to a slower-maturing crop. While you wait for “long stayers” such as leeks, parsnips, salsify, potatoes, and onions from seed to come to harvest, quick-maturing crops will be in and out of the garden and on the table.
- Catch cropping fills space and production gaps in the garden. Sometimes–often at midsummer–crops come out of the garden for one unexpected reason or another: pest or disease damage, animal damage or loss. Fill the gap with a quick-maturing crop. Quick-maturing crops can go into the garden late and still come to harvest before the end of the season.
- Beat the heat in dry years. Quick-maturing cultivars avoid the competition for water in dry years. Quick-maturing crops can go into the garden early in the season and be replaced later by drought tolerant crops or not at all. You still get the vegetables you want to eat, but the plants’ struggle to find water is avoided.
Get our growing guide–details to grow 80 crops: