How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Harvesting and storing peas

Edible pod peas should be harvested over a 2- to 3-month period and should be done before the pods become enlarged. Harvesting should be done frequently--maybe 2 to 3 times a week--to keep the plant bearing. All pods that reach 3 to 4 inches long should be removed. Edible pod peas are best eaten fresh or cooked. They freeze well but canning is not recommended.

Snap peas should be harvested as the pods become plump with peas but before they become too mature. Again, they should be regularly harvested to keep plant bearing. Snap peas are good fresh or cooºked, excellent for freezing but not canning.

English peas should be harvested when the pods are well filled but before they become overmature and starchy. One way to tell that they are not overmature is if the pod can be crushed between the fingers without the pod separating into halves. The sugars in the pods continue to convert to starch quickly even after harvest. English peas should be cooked or processed, by either canning or freezing quickly after shelling.

Harvesting periods for peas in sections of California*

North and North Coast
Monterey County north
Mid Feb.–Oct.
South Coast
San Luis Obispo County south
Oct., Jan.–May
Interior Valleys
Sacramento, San Joaquin, and similar valleys
Late Dec.–Feb.
Desert Valleys
Imperial and Coachella valleys

*For other areas, contact your local Master Gardener

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

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