Sugar snap peas are growing in popularity. The edible pod and peas inside are sweet in flavor and great eaten raw or cooked. They can be canned, frozen and dried for future use.
Sugar snap peas varieties are available in bush or vine types. Bush varieties mature quickly and are easy to harvest, but generally less productive than vines. Vine varieties need the support of a trellis, cage or fence. Both vine and bush varieties are a cold-hardy crop, best grown in cool weather.
Plant sugar snap peas in the early spring, as soon as the soil is workable. A second planting can be made in the fall.
Choose a spot in the garden with good drainage and full sun or partial shade. If good drainage is not available, plant in raised beds.
Work a good quality organic fertilizer into the soil before planting.
Plant multiple crops, every week or two, until mid-spring. A single planting will produce for about two weeks; successive planting will provide peas for a longer period.
Plant sugar snap pea seeds 1/2 to 1 inch deep and 2 inches apart in a row or bed.
Plant vine varieties on either side of a trellis or support.
Control weeds by hand pulling or lightly hoeing during the first six weeds.
Provide approximately 1 inch of water per week. Water peas early in the day to allow the foliage to dry out quickly.
Harvest peas as they mature. Sugar snap peas are ready when the seeds are plump and fill out the pods. Allowing peas to stay on the plant past their prime will result in starchy peas that have lost their sweetness.
Plant peas in a different location next year to reduce soil-borne diseases.