I started some snap peas a few weeks ago between two damp paper towels and put them on top of the fridge. I learned this technique last year from Scott Conner who has an awesome gardening show on AM 1090 every Saturday from 10-12 called Gardening in the Northwest. I love his show; I learn something from him every weekend, that is, every weekend I am able to catch the show. I swear he knows everything about gardening out here, and if he doesn’t know something, he’ll find out for you.
You start the pea seeds between two damp paper towels on an old tray or cookie sheet and place it on top of the fridge where it’s nice and warm. The seedlings are stronger this way than if you start them directly in the ground; plus it’s fun to watch them sprout up under the paper towels. The only problem for me is you have to keep them damp; and when they are up on the fridge I tend to forget about them. It takes anywhere from 7 to 20 days, I’ve found, for them to be ready to plant in the ground. They get to be more than an inch tall with almost two sets of sprout leaves and the roots start to go crazy; that’s when you know they are ready for the ground.
Greg made a pea teepee out of bamboo stakes for us, and he took pictures while I poked holes, and Lily put the sprouts into the dirt holes. She got through about six of them before she found it more interesting to pull the seedling apart into many pieces. She’s having fun pulling things apart lately, more on that later.