It is still early in the year, but peas can be started inside now ready to be planted out under cloches or fleece in Late February – ‘Kelvedon Wonder’ are a good early variety, or Feltham first.
As serf to a Siamese cat, I have a supply of small cardboard boxes that cat food sachets come in. Using paper parcel tape I shut the ends before sawing the box in half with a bread-knife, making two mini planters – in goes some multipurpose compost and 9 peas (see photo). Push them in to the depth of your first knuckle. Put in a water-proof tray, water, sit it on a windowsill and in a few days the peas will begin to emerge.
Before planting out peas need to be ‘hardened off’, which means they need to be gradually introduced to the outdoors. You can do this by putting them outside for a few days and bringing them in at night, or put them in a succession of colder places.
Stroking the foliage with a sheet of paper or your finger tips can also encourage the plant to grow a little more sturdily.
When the house is really overflowing in spring I sometime wedge peas into a crate on the back-shelf of my car. they get bit of movement and a some protection at night.
To plant out dig a box sized hole and put the whole ‘planter’ in so the peas aren’t disturbed and the cardboard will just rot away.