Sugar snap peas are tasty vegetables offering many nutritional benefits such as protein, fiber, vitamin C, iron, potassium and magnesium. Along with being a table favorite, snap peas are also a gardener's favorite. Sugar snap peas can be planted early in the season, as they enjoy cool soil temperatures, and they produce a harvest for weeks during the gardening season. Ensure plants are cared for and healthy.
Till the soil with a hoe or rototiller. Sugar snap peas don't mind cool temperatures as long as the soil is at least 45 degrees F.
Prepare a shallow row for the peas, no more than 1 1/2 to 2 inches deep. If you will be planting more than one row, allow 1 1/2 to 2 feet between rows. If you are planting a vine or climbing variety of sugar snap peas, then your row needs to be next to a fence or trellis to offer support for growing vines. The bush variety does not require support.
Lay pea seeds in the rows spacing 2 inches apart. Cover the seeds with dirt so the planting depth is 1 1/2 inches.
Water the rows with the "shower" setting on your garden hose or with a shower nozzle on a watering can.
Place mulch around the plants as soon as seedlings begin to appear. This will help keep soil temperatures cool.
Plan your pea planting area next to a fence, house, garage or other structure. Then measure the length of the planting area to determine the number of privacy lattice panels needed.
Attach privacy lattice panels to the fence or building by driving nails into the structure just inside the lattice’s four corners. Drive the nails into the wood about half way, and then place your lattice over them. Bending the nails over the lattice with a hammer holds it in place.
Plant sugar snap seeds or seedling plants 6 to 8 inches away from the lattice. Refer to seed packet instructions to learn the correct planting distance for your seeds or baby pea plants.
Train pea vines to climb the lattice when they are 4 to 6 inches long. Attaching them with nursery tape or strips of fabric rather than twine or other string prevents damaging or breaking the vines. After you have tied each plant at two or three places several inches apart as they grow up the trellis, they naturally cling to their support need no further tying.
Harvest peas within seven to ten days after sugar snap peas bloom. Monitor the plants closely and once the first blooms appear, you’ll know you are near the first harvest.
Pick mature pea pods that have started to fill out. Small peas inside the pod may be visible. Don’t wait for the pod to fill out completely as sugar snap peas are best when they are tender.
Monitor plants for a final harvest. Pea pods become tough quickly; therefore, harvest the remaining peas soon after the initial harvest, then pull vines up or till them under the soil.
Use sugar snap peas in salads, steamed, sauteed, or in stir-fry dishes. Sugar snap peas are also easy to freeze to use at a later date.