Field pea is considered a cool season crop that requires timely periodic moisture during its rapid vegetative growth phase and throughout its flowering period. In Alberta, field pea is best suited to the Black and Thin Black soil zones. Successful production is also possible in the Dark Brown and Grey Wooded soil zones when proper management techniques are used. Seed the crop as early as possible into soil that is beginning to warm (4 to 5˚ C) and has good structure and tilth. The crop must be seeded early in May so that it has the opportunity to flower and retain most of its flowers during early July, before the heat of summer begins.
- clay loam and loam soils are best suited for field pea production
- the crop should be planted in well-drained soils that have a pH in the range of 5.5 to 7.0
- soils that are prone to water logging are detrimental to healthy pea production (cold, overly wet soils encourage seed decay and seedling rot)
- sandy soils with poor water-holding capability should also be avoided
- optimum temperatures for field pea growth are 23˚ C during the daytime and 10˚ C during the evening
- the crop is sensitive to drought and high temperatures during its most lush growing period, which starts at the onset of flowering – these two stressful conditions may result in some degree of flower blast, which reduces seed yield