What Is the Difference Between Split Pea & Sweet Pea?

A quick peek at a seed catalog or a rack of seed packages at a garden shop reveals many different types of peas to plant in gardens. Sweet peas are one type of pea; they provide flowers with a strong scent and appealing look. Another type of pea plant, garden peas, create the dry peas commonly called split peas. Even though the plants that produce split peas and sweet peas are associated, there are big gaps. Mainly, split peas can be used for food while sweet pea seeds are poisonous.

Split Peas

Split peas are a product of garden or English peas. The peas or seeds grow inside inedible pods. Some garden pea plants create wrinkled seeds. These seeds are usually picked about 18 to 21 days after flowering, once the peas are big, tender and sweet. Generally garden pea plants with smooth seeds are permitted to grow until the plant is fully mature and the pods turn tan. The peas are removed from the pods, dried and used like beans. They are also called shell peas.

Sweet Peas

Sweet peas produce flowers for cutting and plants for flowerbeds and containers. The sweet pea flowers exist in a vast range of colors. The vine-type varieties produce the very best flowers for cutting while the bush varieties function as bedding plants in backyard. Depending on the variety, the flowers blossom in summer and spring.

How to Grow

Plants creating split peas and sweet peas need similar growing conditions. They are cool-season plants that favor a moist soil. Both kinds are usually raised from seed with the seeds planted in the spring once the land reaches 40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit. The plants grow best when the temperature ranges from 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. The vine-type varieties need support in the fence or trellis while the bush-type do not need extra support.

Additional kinds of Peas

Some kinds of peas produce chips that are edible. Sugar snap peas are harvested when the pods are fat and tender, and the seeds modest. The low-fiber pods sometimes have strings across the side that are eliminated before cooking. Snow peas are picked once the seeds are extremely tiny and the pods tender and flat.

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