Should you soak your pea seeds before planting? This is a question I get quite often and the answer is yes! If you soak your pea seeds before planting they will germinate days faster!
I’ve had several people ask me if you should soak your pea seeds before planting. I’ve even had readers ask if they should dig up seeds they have already planted and soak them and replant!! In my opinion, soaking pea seeds before your plant, them does help them germinate faster. Before we talk about how to soak your pea seeds before planting let’s talk about the why.
Why you should soak your pea seeds before planting
Peas are one of those seeds that really require a lot of moisture before they will germinate. When planted in the ground pea seeds have to take in water to soften them up and give them that spark to start growing. So the idea behind soaking your pea seeds before planting is to give them a head start. If you soak those pea seeds for 12 hours or so they will already be soft and moist and ready to germinate and start growing right away.
Back in the day when I was taking the Master Gardener course, we talked about soaking pea seeds. It turns out a few studies have been done but most didn’t really come up with an answer. So this is one of those garden myths or wives tales that doesn’t have any scientific backing. But despite that, this is one common garden practice that I feel really works.
There have been years when only part of my pea seeds were soaked before planting (those years when I ran out of seed and had to go buy more). And I did find that the soaked seeds germinated several days before the un-soaked seeds. This is especially the case when we have a dry spring without much rain.
How to soak your pea seeds before planting
The process is really pretty simple. You just need to cover your pea seeds with water and let them soak for about 12 hours (overnight). I’ve found that 12 hours is the key. Any less and the seeds don’t seem to take enough water.
Put your pea seeds in a small container (some seeds have been treated so don’t use something you might eat from later). Then cover the seeds with about 1/2 inch of water and let them sit.
See the difference! They really do take on a lot of water and swell up nicely. Try not to let them soak for more than 24 hours. You don’t want the seeds sprouting in the water so don’t leave them in the water for more than a day.
Once they have soaked get them right out in the garden and plant them about an inch deep!!
This is a simple practice that I think helps get your pea plants off to a quicker start! Be sure to watch the video about this topic for more info!! And if you would like to learn more about growing peas check out these 3 posts:
How long do you soak peas before planting?
You should soak your peas for at least 8 hours (overnight) but no more than 24 hours. You want the pea seeds to rehydrate and look like normal (un-dried) peas.
Should I soak peas before planting?
If you choose not to soak your peas before planting the will eventually germinate in your garden. But for quicker and more even germination you should soak your peas for at least 8 hours. Beans also benefit from soaking but most other seeds should not be soaked before planting.