How I Support Peas

growing peas

I love seeing peas scrambling up natural pea sticks, tiny tendrils stretching out, curling tightly around their rustic support like miniature green springs. However, when it comes to supporting taller and heavier cropping peas (‘Blauwschokker’ for example), sometimes a sturdier or taller form of support is needed. Using several long bamboo canes and pieces of chicken or welded mesh wire, I fashion together support structures that have served me well for many years, even through gales. Unlike netting, wire mesh is safer for wild birds, so it gets a big thumbs up from me.

peas

Measure out the area that you wish to use for planting, then cut your wire to fit using wire cutters making sure it’s at least 5 ft high. Take a cane and pass it through one of the lower holes of the wire at one end, repeat again somewhere in the middle and one last time near the top. Leave at least 7 inches of each cane bare at the bottom of the wire, these will be pushed into the soil. Repeat this process for the other end of the wire and pop another cane or two in through the middle section for extra strength. Once you’re happy, push the bare cane sections into the soil, keeping it taut as you go. If you use chicken wire, secure to canes with short lengths of garden wire if needed.

peas

peas on chicken wire

For some years now I’ve grown peas this way, the support structures can be left permanently in place and to save growing space and adhere to crop rotation practices, place the support structure near the end of a raised bed and refresh several inches of soil every spring to keep diseases and pests to a minimum.

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14 comments

  1. Great idea about the wire mesh. I’m growing mange tout. I decided on using canes and string because at the time I had no idea how they’d grow, how tell etc. As it’s gone on I’ve had to add more and more string to aid support to them. I think mesh is definitely the way to go and shall implement this next yr if all grows well this season :-)

  2. Funnily enough I just admired similar pea supports in a friend’s garden this weekend. I normally go for the natural sticks approach, but this does look more effective, think I may have to give it a go – and your plants do look as if they’re thriving.

  3. I use wire mesh too around an old pair of wrought iron gates, a framed together. Love how they look when the pea’s are growing, I put some 6ft canes up the middle too. Yours are doing so well xx

  4. I am using up the last of the pea netting I bought years ago for a new cutting garden, but chicken wire looks much better, I prefer the idea of being able to leave the structure in place and re-use it.

  5. My peas are well over 10 ft the problem is I only staked for 6 ft. Can I trim the ends to stop length without harming the flowers and small peas ?

  6. Hi, just planted some Linnet pea seeds and thinking about the best way to support them – Have plenty of wire mess left over from over ordering to protect tulip and daffodil bulbs from the badgers….it worked! Thanks for the blog.

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