This photo shows some young pea plants ready to grow up some pea sticks.
Garden peas can be one of the most rewarding vegetables to grow because their taste, fresh from the garden, is really something. They also give a good cropping ratio for the amount of land used and so are good for small gardens. Also grown up pea sticks like this they make an attractive vegetable – so could even be grown in your front garden! Modern chefs are keen to use the tender pea shoots with all the pea flavour but none of the starch. I still prefer the mushy peas but it is an acquired northern taste.
As a final bonus, the legume family tend to help put nitrogen back into the soil so are great in crop rotation before heavy nitrogen users like Green vegetables.
In the early days of sowing they will need protection from frost and slugs. Their leave are tender and so need careful hardening off or covering with fleece during their early days. Also if you are not careful an army of slugs and snails can decimate your crop overnight. See: Methods to reduce slugs
Peas do need supporting, otherwise they will flop over where the crop will be lower and more liable to be eaten by slugs. These pea sticks make an attractive and functional natural support. You can buy them or look for suitable twigs from your own trees. It is good to put them in early and if necessary make a tie to get them started. But, generally, the pea tendrils will find the stick for support.
If you sow indoors during March, they will be ready for planting out late April and this will give a good crop around July. They are quite quick growing so you can stagger sowing by 3 weeks to give you a longer cropping season.