Pea microgreens is the easiest microgreen to grow and is scientifically proven to have the most health beneficial effects. It can grow in the absence of light and external nutrients and has anti-cancer, anti bacterial and cardiovascular beneficial effects.
Since the final product of industrial pea farming are pea seeds, organic pea seeds can be purchased for are sold for 4 dollars per pound (non-organic variety are sold for 3 dollars/pound). The organic pea seeds are worth buying because it reduces your exposure to pesticides and herbicides.
Do not buy split peas or frozen peas because they cannot germinate. While frost doesn't kill pea seeds, frozen peas are pre-cooked.
Pea microgreens are rich in vitamin B, folate and protein. Plus, they’re a good source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc.
Pea microgreens contain high levels of unsaturated fatty acids such as linolenic fatty acid. They lower your bad cholesterol and blood pressure, which significantly aids in preventing cardiovascular disease.
Pea microgreens has also been shown to have antibacterial effects, which is thought to prevents ulcers by suppressing Helicobacter pylori.
Last but not least, pea microgreens has the highest antioxidant capacity among all microgreens, which prevents the development of both cardiovascular disease and cancer. For more information of health benefits of microgreens, please refer to my microgreen health benefits article.
The main health concern with all legumens (including peas) is phytic acid. Legumes cannot be eaten raw because phytic acid causes an upset stomach and decreases nutrient absorption.
Fortunately, germinating peas reduces the amount of toxins and anti-nutrients. Pea microgreens are therefore safe to eat raw.
Pea microgreens can be grown well in peat moss alone. However, I like to add vermiculite (10% by weight) to peat moss in order to improve moisture availability and aeration.
Alternatively, you can use a potting mix or mixtures formulated for seedlings.
Peas do not require fertilizer. They make their own fertilizer with the help of symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Since most growing medium are sterile, you will have to inoculate your growing medium with rhizobia bacteria.
Without the bacteria, you can use fertilizer to support growth. Potting mixes usually have fertizer pre-mixed. With innoculated growing medium however, you can continue to re-use the growing medium without additional fertilizer.
According to the data I've collected in germination trials (covered in another article), pre-soaking peas up to three hours do not increase the rate or amount of germination.
The root growth of pre-soaked seeds was faster than non-soaked seeds. But this proved to be insignificant because the growing medium was saturated.
However, the final yeild was not statistically different. In fact, non-soaked seeds yeilded slightly more greens than pre-soaked seeds.
Pea seeds should be seeded at 100 grams per square meter or 1/3 oz per square foot. Cover with 1 inch of growing medium for proper germination.
Peas grow very fast. They grow to an average height of three inches after one and half weeks of growth. Cutting near the base of the roots, pea microgreens yeilds approximately 0.36 grams per plant. Pea seeds weigh an average of 0.22 gram per seed. With a germination rate of around 70%, this gives a final yeild of 1.0 (weight harvested/ weight seeded)
Microgreens should be harvested before the roots completely saturate the growing medium. The growth of pea microgreens will slow down significantly if the growing medium is saturated (around 1 to 2 weeks depending on how deep your growing medium is).
To harvest microgreens, use a sharp pair of scissors to cut the stem near the base of the roots. Hold the greens as you harvest them to prevent the growing medium from getting on the greens. Remove the roots as much as you can from the growing medium if you intend to re-use it and dispose the roots in a compost pile.
The flavor profile of pea microgreens start with an initial phenolic burst for the first 2 seconds, followed by a refreshing green juice taste. Subsequent snacking of pea greens do not have repeated phenolic bursts.
I am the author of this website and owner of growyourmicrogreens.com. I am an hobbyist gardener and a passionate scientist. I was trained as a scientist in the Molecular Genetics program in University of Toronto, where I received my Masters of Science and published a journal article.