Harvested from the gardens at Monticello. Prussian Blue Peas, developed in Germany in the 18th century and noted for the dark blue-green seeds, were grown at Monticello in 1809, the first year of Jefferson’s retirement from public office. A late-season pea, Jefferson recorded that the May 5th sowing had “come to table” on July 10. Prussian Blue Peas were typically dried and prepared in soups in Jefferson’s day, but can also be enjoyed fresh.
This late-season English, or shelling, pea prefers cool, moist conditions. Direct sow in fertile garden loam when the soil can be worked in late winter to early spring. For improved germination, soak seeds overnight before sowing. Monticello gardeners support the twining vines with tall branches, or “pea sticks.” Harvest in late spring or early summer when the pods are plump and tender or leave on the vines to dry if your goal is a soup pea. Approximately 15-20 seeds per packet.
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