If you were lucky enough to plant sugar snap peas earlier this season, you are likely enjoying the fruits of your labor. The sweet crunchy edible pods are a delicious treat for the entire family, if you can restrain yourself from eating them as fast as you are harvesting them.
Sugar snap peas are a cross between a regular garden pea and a snow pea. Snow peas are the flat pods frequently used in stir fry recipes. Sugar snap peas are a cool season crop that is frost hardy and high in vitamin C.
To grow sugar snap peas, sow seeds to the depth of 1 - 1 1/2 inches deep and 1 inch apart. Rows should be planted 18 - 24 inches apart. They can be planted in the early spring, or late summer for a fall harvest. The plants will need at least 6 hours of sunlight per day, but will tolerate partial shade. Support should be provided as they will climb using tendrils that will wrap around string, twine trellis netting, wire mesh, or fencing. They can reach lengths of 6 - 8 feet long.
The peas are ready to harvest in approximately 60 days. Once they begin to produce, regular harvesting, every other day, is recommended to prevent a more mature pea that loses it flavor and crispness. Snap peas are usually eaten fresh, stored in the refrigerator, or frozen.
Companion vegetables that grow in harmony near sugar snap peas include: radishes, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers and potatoes. Several resources suggest keeping them away from garlic and onions.
If your taste buds are tingling and you are dreaming of a snack of sugar snap peas and you didn't plant any this spring, don't worry, you will have another opportunity to plant for a fall garden harvest.
This alert was co-authored by Amy Stone and Master Gardener Volunteer Erin Momenee from Lucas County.