|K-State Research and Extension Horticulture Newsletter
Peas can be planted earlier in the spring than just about any other vegetable crop because they can grow well at a soil temperature of 40 degrees. Though other crops such as lettuce, parsnips and spinach can sprout at lower temperatures (35 degrees), they don’t start growing well until the soil reaches about 45 degrees. However, soils are often too wet to work in the spring. Therefore, you may wish to prepare the soil now rather than next spring so that planting can take place as early as possible even if those spring soils are wet. Wait until soil temperatures reach 40 degrees next spring and sprinkle the seeds on the soil and push them in with your finger. Protection from rabbits and deer will probably be needed as they will be attracted to anything green coming up so early. (Ward Upham)
Ward Upham runs the Horticulture Response Center in the Department of Horticulture and Natural Resources at Kansas State University. Other contributors include K-State Extension Specialists.