I have tried a couple of times to start ornamental peas indoors with my other seeds and I had no luck. This year I wanted to grow ornamental,and regular peas for eating. The Ornamental peas did not germinate so I bought a small package of inoculant. Could I apply this inoculant to both types of peas? The seed seem to rot before germinating, does the inoculant stop the rotting from happening or is there a special method I should try with just the peas? Thanks for any information reguarding this topic.
The inoculant is a bacterium that forms a symbiotic relationship with the pea plants, providing nitrogen in return for sugar. It won’t effect germination at all. For more information on inoculants see this factsheet from Colorado State: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/Pubs/crops/00305.html
Sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus) and edible peas (Pisum Sativum) are not the same species, so while the inoculant might work for both, it also might not. The factsheet has more details on this.
In general, it is easier to start both types of peas directly in the garden. Sweet peas have deep root systems and are probably better off not being transplanted. If you are nervous about just putting the peas out, you could germinate between two damp paper towels and then plant the pre-germinated seeds. Your sweet pea seeds might germinate better if they are scarified. Renee’s garden seeds has a good explanation of how to do this on their website:
Thanks Leslie for your info. I did use the inoculant for both types of peas, and the Pisum Sativum did germinate outside, I’m still waiting for a sign of germination from the Lathyrus Odoratus. I think you are right about just starting them outdoors. Thank you so much for your time and useful information. Larry.
In my experience (which now stretches two seasons, so have a grain of salt handy) Pisum peas are much more cold hardy than Lathyrus peas. So while your eatin’ peas may be springing up, it wouldn’t surprise me if your sweet peas are taking their time. Try not to set them out too early, I don’t think they feel all snuggly in cold, damp weather.
All peas are up and growing, Thanks for the information and help.
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Welcome! I’m Margaret Roach, a leading garden writer for 25 years—at ‘Martha Stewart Living,’ ‘Newsday,’ and in three books. I host a public-radio podcast; I also lecture, plus hold tours at my 2.3-acre Hudson Valley (NY) Zone 5B garden, and always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants.