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Little Marvel Pea Plant Information
The "Little Marvel" pea plant (Pisum sativum) is a sturdy, compact plant that produces pods of delicate, tasty green peas. This heirloom plant grows well in home gardens in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 to 9 and can handle cooler temperatures and light frosts. The vegetable is also chock-full of nutrients, including niacin, iron, vitamins A and C, and several of the B vitamins.
This hardy and high-yielding pea plant grows to a height of between 18 to 20 inches tall and sometimes even taller. It is actually considered a dwarf plant and does not require staking to produce an abundance of the podded vegetables. They have dark green foliage and a spread of about 5 inches. The small but plump peas themselves have a distinct sweet taste and are a versatile addition to any lunch or dinner in salads, casseroles, vegetable mixtures or just by themselves. Fresh shelled peas are an asset to any home garden as they are one of the few fresh vegetables generally unavailable for purchase in a grocery store.
Little Marvel seeds should be planted in the spring approximately 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches deep and 2 to 3 inches apart. Thinning is not recommended. They can be planted in rows approximately 18 to 24 inches apart. They require full sun and regular watering to grow to their mature heights.
These sweet and tasty peas germinate in one to two weeks and will produce vegetables in approximately 60 days. For a summer of fresh green vegetables, stagger the growing times two weeks apart to maintain a fresh supply of the peas all season long. Even after remaining in the pod well past the maturation point, the peas remain sweet and edible.
Harvesting and Uses
Little Marvel green peas grow to maturity in pods that are approximately 3 inches long with six to nine peas nestled inside each pod. To avoid damage to the plants when harvesting, carefully hold the vine in one hand while picking with the other. Twenty pounds of these peas can be expected to be produced from 100 feet of plants. Unlike snap and snow peas with their edible pods, these need to be gently shelled before consuming and can be cooked immediately after after being harvested and thoroughly washed. They also hold up well when frozen or canned for later use.