Growing Snow Peas

“Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God.” Job 37:14

Snow peas are an easy, fast growing crop to plant.

Snow peas differ from snap peas in that snow peas have thinner, more tender pods and they are eaten flat. Snap peas have thicker pods and are generally grown until the peas are developed. Snow peas can be eaten raw or cooked.

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They are a cool season crop, meaning they should be grown in the spring or fall. They can tolerate some frost. This year I started them in February and set them out in the soil in early March, using a cold frame. You can also plant them directly in the garden 4-6 weeks before the last frost, when the soil is workable and about 45 degrees.

They don’t do well during the heat of the summer.

I’m not sure if these are worth growing in containers, because you need several plants. Not that it isn’t possible.

 

PlantinIMG_2219g: Plant in full sun in rich, well drained soil. I soak the seeds first until they aren’t wrinkly anymore to speed along the germination process. Plant seeds 3-4 inches apart in double rows.

When planting seeds, use a soil inoculant. This is a powder you shake the seeds into before planting. The inoculant has nitrogen fixing bacteria that will help the plants produce better. It isn’t required, but I’ve done it both ways and your snow peas will definitely do better with the inoculant. You can purchase this at most garden centers or online.

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Growing: As the peas grow, they will need support. Anything they can wrap their tendrils around will work. The support should be about 5-6 ft high depending on the variety you are growing.

 

Pests: So far, I’ve never had trouble with pests or diseases bothering my snow peas.

 

Fertilizer: Mix compost into the soil. Add general organic fertilizer. Use phosphorus for more blooms.

Harvest: Cut the peas off the vi1936827_1166503250527_2197078_nne with a scissor or pinch stem with your fingernail. Peas are best when they are still flat before the peas have started to grow. You can still eat them after the peas have grown, but then the pods are much tougher. You may want to take the peas out and eat them. Younger peas have not developed that string down the seam like the older peas.

Eat them soon after picking because that is when they will be sweetest. I usually just pick enough for our meal.

They will keep in the refrigerator in a plastic bag. You can also freeze them, but you may want to blanch them first.

 

 

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