How to Grow Sugar Snap Peas


Sugar snap peas are an edible pod variety of peas. The pods have a lightly sweet taste that is prized in raw salads and other dishes. A cool-season vegetable, sugar snap peas are planted outside when the weather is still cool in spring. The pods are picked prior to maturing so they are still green and tender. The peas inside each pod are small and tender, also offering a sweet, crisp flavor and texture. Plant sugar snaps outside once the soil temperature is 45 degrees F in spring.

Step 1

Apply a 2- to 3-inch layer of mature compost over a garden bed that receives full sunlight. Spread 1 lb. of 16-16-8 analysis fertilizer over each 100 square feet of garden bed. Work the compost and fertilizer into the top 6 inches of the soil using a hoe or power tiller.

Step 2

Sow seeds 1 inch deep and space the seeds 2 inches apart in rows. Space rows 2 feet apart and erect a trellis or support system behind each row of sugar snap peas.

Step 3

Provide approximately 1 inch of water in a single weekly watering. Avoid over-wetting the bed and allow the surface of the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.

Step 4

Lay a 2-inch layer of mulch around the sugar snap peas once the plants are 5 inches tall. This prevents weed growth while preserving soil moisture.

Step 5

Harvest the sugar snap peas when the the pods are green and firm with the peas beginning to swell inside. Pick the peas in the afternoon after all moisture on the plant has dried to prevent spreading diseases during harvesting.

Tips and Warnings

  • Sugar snap pea vines will die off once temperatures raise to over 80 degrees F. Plant early enough in the season to ensure a harvest before summer heat.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Fertilizer
  • Hoe
  • Power tiller
  • Trellis
  • Mulch


  • University of Illinois Extension: Peas
  • Utah State University: Peas In The Garden
Keywords: growing sugar snap peas, cool-season vegetable, edible pod peas

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.