If you’re pondering how to grow sugar snap peas by yourself, you probably know how tasty and nutritious they can be. Sugar snap peas will enrich your meals with their sweet, crunchy pods, but they’ll also feed your garden soil with nitrogen as they grow.
The best part is that you can grow sugar snap pea plants anywhere with minimal care.
So, wait no more! Scroll down and find out how to do so hassle-free!
What’s the Best Place to Grow Sugar Snap Peas?
If it’s your first time growing sugar snap peas and you want to avoid dealing with pests and various diseases, you can plant your sugar snaps in pots or any other containers indoors.
Snap peas are self-pollinating plants, and they’ll be just fine indoors as long as you provide them with the right conditions to thrive.
Planting sugar snaps in the garden can be a bit more tricky, but you certainly won’t regret the effort. Beneficial bacteria that thrive on snap peas’ roots will fixate nitrogen from the air and make your garden soil more fertile for your other crops too.
When to Start Growing Sugar Snap Peas
Sugar snaps are cool-weather-loving peas. They grow best when temperatures are cooler (the plants even tolerate short periods of freezing temperatures when they’re young). So, the best season to plant your sugar snap pea is spring or fall.
You can plant your snap peas in late March or early April, four to six weeks before the last frost. If you plan to plant in the fall, do so eight to ten weeks before the first frost. In both cases, the soil temperature should be above 45 °F for seeds to germinate.
How to Grow Sugar Snap Peas Indoors
Choose Your Favorite Snap Pea Variety
Consider factors like flavor, the time it takes the plant to reach full maturity, and climate preferences when choosing the right variety for you.
Also, keep in mind that climbing pea varieties have vines that grow six to eight feet high. If you don’t have this kind of vertical space, you should opt for bushy sugar snap peas, which usually grow up to three feet tall.
Soak and Sprout the Seeds
Soaking sugar snap peas overnight will help with germination. If you want to improve the chances of a good yield at the end of the season, pre-sprout them (rather than trying to grow sugar snap peas directly from seed).
To pre-sprout your sugar snap peas, all you need to do is:
- Wet the snap pea seeds in a bowl of water.
- Wrap the wet seeds in a dampened paper towel.
- Put the seeds in a plastic bag or in a covered container.
Sprouts should start to poke out in three to four days (still, it’s recommended to check on your seeds daily, just in case).
How to Grow Sugar Snap Peas From Pods
For pods to work their magic and grant you a new sugar snap pea plant, they need to be ripe enough before being harvested.
So, if you’re taking them from your garden, wait until the peas are well round and the pods begin to dry out to pick them. Then, you can plant the peas directly into the soil or pre-sprout them.
Choose a Sunny Spot for Your Plants
If you have a place in your home that gets six to eight hours of direct sun a day, that’s where your sugar snap peas should go. Just make sure the temperature there doesn’t surpass 85°F to avoid scorching the plant and ending up with a lower yield.
If that’s the case, it’s better to place the pots in a partial shade at least for several hours in the afternoon, when temperatures are at their highest.
Choose the Right Container
Choosing to plant indoors means you’ll have to grow your sugar snap peas in a certain container.
You’ll need a pot at least 14 inches wide and 14 inches deep. Naturally, the larger the container is, the better. The pot should also have a good drainage system. So, regular large pots and raised beds should work just fine when it comes to planting snap peas indoors.
Use Well-Draining Potting Soil
You can successfully grow sugar snap peas in a pot in many types of soil or potting mixes suitable for vegetables. The soil should be rich in nutrients, well-draining, and loose.
Sugar snaps also like organic matter, but there’s no need to go overboard with fertilizer or compost . Just add a small amount when planting the seeds.
Set Up Vertical Growth Support
Most snap peas belong to the climbing variety. So, if you want to keep them healthy and safe, planting sugar snap peas besides some kind of vertical support is a good idea. You can use a trellis, tomato cage, wire net, teepee, twine, or fence.
Tip — Even the shortest of snap pea varieties can grow up to three feet high, so they’ll also need something to climb on.
Plant Your Seeds
Poke a few one-inch deep holes in your pot. The holes should be one inch away from the edges of the container and about two inches apart.
Then plant two peas per hole to increase your chances of success (don’t forget to sprinkle some inoculant powder onto the seeds or seedlings before you plant them).
All you need to do now is sit and watch for the sprouts that grow bigger and pluck the weaker ones out. Soon after this, you’ll be making pea puree in your portable blender.
How to Grow Sugar Snap Peas Outdoors
Prep the Soil
Make sure you’re planting in rich but loose and well-draining soil. So, use your gardening tools to break up the top 8–10 inches of soil.
If you suspect any deficiencies or simply want to protect your snap peas from infections by strengthening them, you can also add some compost (which can provide plants with lots of nutrients) or fertilizer.
Start Planting Sugar Snap Pea Seeds
Once the soil is ready and warm enough (45 °F to 57 °F), it’s time to start planting. Make 1.5-inch deep holes in the soil and plant the seeds. It’s best to sprinkle the seeds with inoculant right before you plant them.
But how much space should you leave between the seeds, or rather what is the best way to grow sugar snap peas?
You should keep about two inches between the plants and 12 to 24 inches between rows. Rows of bushy varieties can be placed 12 inches apart, but climbers will need at least 18 inches in between.
Mulch and Fertilize
Once you’ve mounted a trellis, a fence, or another type of support, it’s best to mulch the soil around your plants straight away to retain moisture. Mulching will also keep weeds out and save precious time trying to get rid of them.
You need to water your sugar snap pea plants regularly. The soil around them should never be entirely dry. Be generous when it comes to the amount of water, but don’t forget to provide adequate drainage too.
You’ll need to test the soil regularly in seasons when the rain is sparse by sticking your fingers into the soil. If the soil is dry two inches below the surface, water your plants. Just remember not to spray water on top of the leaves to avoid various infections and diseases.
When to Harvest Sugar Snap Peas
Given the right conditions, sugar snaps can reward your care with harvestable pea pods as soon as six weeks after sowing.
Most commonly, it takes anywhere between 60 and 70 days for pea pods to become edible. The best time to pick the pods is when they start bulging, but their pods are still dark green and smooth.
How long it’ll take your sugar snap peas to reach maturity greatly depends on the variety and the conditions they’re growing in (the amount of light and nutrients you provide them with).
Conditions also determine if they’ll be nutritious enough to make a good source of vegan protein.
If you want peas to retain their sweet flavor, don’t wait until they become fully ripe to pick them. As soon as they start losing color, the pods become too fibrous to eat, and the peas turn starchy and lose their sweetness.
Learning how to grow sugar snap peas is very easy, and these tips prove it. Fast-growing, self-pollinating, and quite resistant to pests and diseases — these pea plants are what gardening dreams are made of!
Grow them the right way, and you’ll have a chance to enjoy delicious, nutritious food every day.
What month do you plant sugar snap peas?
The best time to plant sugar snap peas is in the spring, in late March or early April. Choose a date approximately 4–6 weeks before the last spring frost.
You can also plant sugar snaps in the fall, 8–10 weeks before the first frost.
How long do sugar snap peas take to grow?
With proper care, your snap peas will be ready for snacking 60 to 70 days after planting. And don’t wait for too long before harvesting them! Sugar peas taste best while their pods are still tender. Later on, they can lose their sweetness.
How tall do sugar snap peas grow?
Depending on the variety, sugar snap peas can get two to eight feet tall.
Bush varieties are on the lower end of this range (two to three feet tall), while climbing varieties reach six to eight feet. Still, most mature sugar snap peas reach four to six feet.
Do sugar snap peas need a trellis?
If your snap peas are climbers, you should use a trellis to support their height.
Plus, when harvesting time comes around, it’ll be much easier for you to pick the pods if the plant grows vertically. Additionally, a trellis comes in handy in small gardening spaces.
Do sugar snap peas need to climb?
Absolutely! Most sugar snaps have evolved and developed tendrils for climbing to protect the vine from damage. Even the shortest sugar snap peas reach about three feet in height, so it’s better to have them climb onto something than let them crawl on the ground and risk damage.
How tall should a sugar snap pea trellis be?
Though climbing varieties can reach eight feet in height, using a trellis 5′–6′ tall at most is the most practical thing to do. This way, it’ll be easier for you to harvest the pods.
Bushy snap peas need shorter supporting constructions (up to 3′).
Since the plant’s height greatly depends on the variety, it’s best to read the instructions on how to grow sugar snap peas on the packaging of your seeds before you put up a trellis, teepee, mesh, or wire.
You’ll likely find all the information about your snap peas’ height and the support they require there.