I've made Autumn sowings of peas for the first time this year.

I planted the seeds in small pots in the (unheated) greenhouse like I'd normally do for spring sowings. It was a bit speculative as I wasn't sure anything would show up.

However every pot now has a small but strong looking pea poking out. They're 2-3cm high.

It this was spring I'd let them grow on a bit longer and then get them transplanted outside.

But what about these Autumn sown shoots? Do I leave them where they are (presumably they'll shortly stop growing as winter sets in so won't outgrow their 8cm pots till spring? Or transplant outside shortly and cover with fleece/plastic? Or something else?

Location is UK south coast and we're just getting our first frosts about now.

1 Answer 1


Whether these pea sprouts will overwinter in their pots depends a lot on how warm it tends to stay in your greenhouse. If they are already sprouting and happily growing, it may not get cold quickly enough in there for them to go dormant, as peas are fairly frost hardy overall. Peas really don't like transplanting after a certain time either, so if they were to outgrow their pots over the winter, it might set them back a lot to be transplanted at a much larger size in the spring.

If it were me, I'd probably go ahead and plant them out, but put them under a cloche cover or if you have room, plant them in a planting bed in the greenhouse. A large pot or two might do as well, but unless your temps only rarely dip well below freezing outside, I'd keep them covered in some fashion. Another thing you could do if you wanted to, seeing as this was mostly an experiment anyway, is to transplant a few of them somewhere that they can continue to grow to full size now, and keep the rest in pots to see what they do over the winter.

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