By Kathee Mierzejewski
Sugar snap (Pisum sativum var. macrocarpon) peas are a cool season, frost hardy vegetable. When growing snap peas, they are meant to be harvested and eaten with both pods and peas. Snap peas planting is done because this particular vegetable is great in salads while raw, or in stir fries with other vegetables.
How to Grow Snap Peas
Growing sugar snap peas is best when the temperature is 45 F. (7 C.) or higher, so wait until you’re sure chance of frost is past. The soil should also be dry enough to till without the dirt clumping up and sticking to your garden tools. After the early spring rains is definitely best.
Plant your snap peas planting seeds 1 to 1 1/2 inches deep and 1 inch apart, with 18 to 24 inches between pairs of plants or rows. Early on when growing sugar snap peas, cultivate and hoe shallowly so you don’t injure the plants.
When growing sugar snap peas, mulch around the plants carefully, which will prevent the soil from getting too hot in summer afternoon sun. It also prevents too much moisture from rain building up around the roots. Too much sunshine can burn the plants, and too much water can rot the roots.
A little weeding is required, but growing snap peas don’t require a lot of fuss and muss. Minimal fertilization is necessary and soil prep in the beginning consists of simple raking and hoeing.
When to Pick Sugar Snap Peas
For knowing when to pick sugar snap peas, pay attention to the pods and pick when they are swollen. The best way to know when your snap peas are ripe enough is to pick a couple each day until you find them to be perfect. Don’t wait too long because the peas can become tough and unusable.
Snap peas planting isn’t a difficult and the peas pretty much take care of themselves. Just plant the seeds and watch them grow. It takes very little time before you are enjoying your sugar snap peas.