I remember when I first tasted a pea shoot.

It was in a pub called The Hope, on Wandsworth Common about 20 years ago. We had started going there because they had some great live music and proper gastro pub food. And they served pea shoots with the steak.

It was a revelation, as I hadn’t realised you could eat the whole plant and how good it tasted. From then on I always put in extra peas when I plant some so that I can eat the shoots too.

Peas growing

You can grow them easily inside in a pot. In fact that might be the best way as they are loved by all insects and animals so outside they are often attacked. I haven’t tried growing them indoors yet but I intend to try it.

The important thing is to pick them when they are still small. If you leave it too late the stems get to fibrous. You can usually still eat the leaves, but if you leave it later still even the leaves become inedible!

When you pick them do it just above the bottom leaves, as sometimes they will grow again.

I tried germinating peas inside and outside, and I believe it is better to plant them straight out. Make sure the ground doesn’t completely dry out and they will come up.


Currently I am growing them behind fine netting. It needs to be fine and have no gaps, as one slug or caterpillar can take out a whole crop overnight. Birds will also go after peas, both as seeds and as plants so the netting protects against them too.