Pea "Oregon Sugar Pod" Info: How To Grow Oregon Sugar Pod Peas

Oregon Sugar Pod
Oregon Sugar Pod
(Image credit: Rob Duval)

with Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Oregon Sugar Pod snow peas are very popular garden plants. They produce large double pods with a delicious flavor. If you want to grow Oregon Sugar Pod peas, you’ll be delighted to learn that they are not demanding plants. Read on for information on the pea Oregon Sugar Pod.

What are Oregon Sugar Pod Peas?

Sugar peas are in the legume family. They not only give a wide range of vitamins and minerals to recipes, but they also fix nitrogen in soil, enhancing its nutrient capacity. The Oregon Sugar Pod pea plant was developed by Dr. James Baggett for the Oregon State University. The plant is named after the university where it was created – bred for its disease resistance and dwarf stature.

These pea pods can be grown in United States Department of Agriculture zones 3 to 9, providing a vegetable useful in gardens even in northern zones. The plants are resistant to powdery mildew, mosaic virus and common wilt. Sugar pod peas are easy to grow and suitable for children and novice gardeners.

Pea pods have little to no string, crisp but tender pods and crunchy sweet peas. Since you can eat the entire pod, they are quick to prepare or make a wonderful snack in lunchboxes or at the dinner table.

Growing Oregon Sugar Pod Peas

If you want to start growing Oregon Sugar Pod peas, you’ll find that the plants are extremely hardy, high yielding vines. The flat pods are about 4 inches (10 cm.) long, and a vibrant shade of green. Growing Oregon Sugar Pod peas is easier than growing vines, since they are bush peas, only 36 to 48 inches (90-120 cm.) tall. The bright green pods are crisp and tender, with tiny, very sweet peas inside.

Oregon Sugar Pod Pea plants generally produce pea pods in groups of two. This accounts for the generous harvest, since most pea plants only produce single pods. If planted every few weeks, you will have continuous pods to harvest and use. Sow seeds in early spring or late summer for a fall crop.

As soon as soil can be worked, till the bed deeply and incorporate well-rotted organic material. Plant seeds an inch (2.5 cm.) deep and 3 inches (7.6 cm.) apart in full sun. If you want a fall crop, sow seeds in July. Expect germination in 7 to 14 days.

Oregon Sugar Pod Snow Peas

You’ll find that this variety is a great choice for the short season of cooler climates. Keep the area well weeded and protect young plants from birds with netting. Peas need plenty of water but should never be kept soggy.

They grow fast to be ready for harvest in around 60 to 65 days. You will know the peas are ready to harvest by their appearance. Pick these peas before the peas inside can be seen protruding from the pod. Pods should be firm, deeply green and have a light sheen.

You can also get multiple harvests from Oregon Sugar Pod peas. Watch your plants, and when the young pods are big enough for salads, you can harvest and watch them grow again. Some who grow Oregon Sugar Pod peas report getting up to four different harvests in a single growing season.

These delicious snow peas offer oodles of vitamins including Vitamins A, B and C. The entire pod is edible and sweet, earning it the French name “Mangetout,” meaning “eat it all.” The crunchy pods work very well in stir-fries and provide a sweet crunch in salads.If you have too many to eat immediately, blanch for 2 minutes in hot water, cool in ice and freeze them. They will make a memorable meal in vegetable-scarce winter.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.