Windham Winter Pea

Windham winter pea offers improved winter hardiness. It is white flowering and tannin-free.

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Windham is recognized as having improved winter hardiness over Austrian-type winter peas. Windham has a dwarf growth habit and an upright canopy. Windham is a white flowering tannin-free pea, making it sweeter than Austrian-type peas. Wildlife and foraging animals prefer these sweeter peas over purple flowering varieties. Windham was developed in the Northwest as a joint venture between the USDA_ARS and three universities in Idaho, Washington, and Montana.

Elk grazing Windham winter pea

Cover Crop Performance

In the October of 2019, researchers with the University of Tennessee planted extensive cover crop trials in three Tennessee locations – Knoxville, Spring Hill, and Milan. In addition to assessments of nitrogen content and release, assessment were conducted for ground cover, biomass and height. The data below reflects averages of all three sites. Site-specific data and complete results available upon request.

University of Tennessee

Biomass, Canopy Cover, and Height

Three Location Average



VarietyBiomass (Tons DM/A)Canopy Cover (%)Height (in)

See complete trial here.

University of Tennessee

Nitrogen Content/Estimated Nitrogen Release

Three Location Average



VarietyBiomass (Tons DM/A)Total Nitrogen (%)Est. N Released: April Termination (lbs/ac)Est. N Released: May Termination (lbs/ac)
 AprilMayAprilMay2 wks.4 wks.12 wks2 wks.4 wks.12 wks

See complete trial here.

Winter Hardiness

In 2010-11, Windham was evaluated in Central Ohio alongside Austrian winter peas. According to Richard Leslie, who observed the plots on May 12th, 2011, “Windham Winter Peas interseeded in rows with Daikon Radish, survived the winter (as they did in another trial I observed) while Austrian Winter Peas did not. Windham Winter Peas had spring rhizobium nodules on the roots of the spring plants I dug.”

Windham winter peas in a field
Windham winter peas in a field, close up

Visual Pea Seed Differences

Windhams are larger than Austrians. Windhams and Austrians have yellow cotyledon (insides).

Windham pea seeds

Windham Pea Seeds

Austrian winter pea seeds

Austrian Pea Seeds

Coat for Optimal Performance

For optimal performance, Windham should be inoculated with Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar viceae. This is best achieved with Nitro-Coat®.

Coated winter pea seeds

Planting Instructions

Seeding Rate

35-50 lbs/ac

Planting Dates

Early fall

Planting Map

Planting Depth


Optimal pH