How to Grow Sugar Snap Peas: Of all the pea family, they’re my favourite to grow. When it comes to enjoying a garden snack, nothing beats munching on a handful of crunchy and juicy sugar snap pea pods.
Sugar Snap Peas (Pisum sativum) are grown for their edible pods and seeds. The cool season legume is nitrogen fixing which means once the plant has reached the end of its life, it can be chopped it and worked in into the soil provided it has been disease free. This easy to grow edible is at home in raised beds and containers and takes between 60 and 80 days to mature.
5 Tips for Growing Sugar Snap Peas
1. Sow Direct
Sugar snap peas are best sown direct in loose soil that is not too high in nitrogen. Doing so will encourage more pod formation than leafy parts unless you’re growing them as shoots for salads or stir fries. While seedlings can be raised and transplanted with some degree of success, care must be given to ensure the roots are not disturbed.
2. Water Regularly
Keep the soil moist but not too soggy. Water regularly particularly during the flowering and fruit phase and avoid splashing water on the leaves as it can lead to diseases. Apply a layer of mulch to preserve moisture.
3. Provide a Trellis
Although you can grow dwarf varieties, the plants need support so provide a trellis, a tepee or something for them to attach their tendrils and climb on. By raising the peas off the soil, you’ll minimise the chance of diseases and rot.
4. Harvest Sugar Snap Peas Frequently
The fruit is ready to be harvested when the edible pod has fattened a little. Use secateurs to harvest the pods and avoid pulling on the plant to avoid damage. Harvest regularly to encourage more pea pod production.
5. Save Seeds
When the plant reaches the end of its life, leave a few pods to dry on the plant for seed saving then collect them and store them in a cool, dry place. If your plants were disease free, snip them off at soil level and leave the roots in the ground. They will decompose and add nitrogen to the soil. The tops can be composted or chopped and added to a worm farm.
Want to Know More?
You’ll find more information on how to grow sugar snap peas, which varieties to try, how to pair them with food and spirits, and how to use sugar snap peas in cocktails including a full recipe in my 260+ page digital book GROW YOUR OWN COCKTAIL GARDEN available now.