Peas for Fall (cont)
By: Weldon Burge
Although young spring peas can withstand temperatures as low as 17° F, older plants maturing in the fall can tolerate only a light frost. A hard frost (25° F or below) will kill the leaves, the tendrils, and eventually the plants.
If the first killing frost is earlier than usual and you have a timely warning, protect the plants with a floating row cover, cloches, or even an old blanket. If all goes well, peas will mature when the days are chilly, but harvest will be over before bitter cold arrives and the plants succumb to cold.
Experiment with different varieties until you find the ones that do best in your fall garden. You may occasionally lose a crop, but your successes will far outweigh your losses.
Weldon Burge writes and gardens in Newark, Delaware.