How to Grow Snap Peas How to Grow Snap Peas

Learning how to grow snap peas should be on the top of your list since these are one of the earliest vegetables that you will want to grow in your garden. Plan for success this spring with this easy to grow, delicious cool weather crop. Although snap peas will tolerate shade, they really do well in 8 hours of full sun.

Training snap peas to grow

Snap peas like to grow in vines. To accommodate their growing habit, you will need to build a structure upon which they will grow. Build a 14x14 square base. Trim 4 pieces of 1/2" Douglas fir pieces of wood to 1/8 of an inch thick by 36" tall. Attach each piece to one of the corners of your square and connect the top in tee-pee fashion. String a piece of twine around the bottom of your tee-pee and wind it up and around the structure all the way to the top. This is what your snap peas will vine around as they grow to maturity. Plant seedlings or seeds around the base of the square.

Plant seedlings or seeds

You can grow snap peas from either seedlings sold at nurseries or seeds sold almost everywhere. Before putting either into the ground, be sure that you prepare the soil. This means taking time to work the soil with nutrients and fertilizer to insure your plants will have a happy home from which to grow. Closely follow directions for either seedlings or seed packets and plant accordingly to avoid overpopulation and depletion of soil nutrients. To guard against unforeseen early frosts use row covers to protect plantings. Begin training your seedlings early so that they will climb the tee-pee structure you have built for them. Plants will send out tendrils which you can easily wrap around your tee-pee to insure they follow the path on which you want them to grow.

Watering and additional suggestions

Snap peas like regular watering and do not like dried out soil. To insure successful growth and to control weeds, consider mulching your plants with dried straw or cedar bark chips. It very important to keep your vines off the ground so that they do not develop mold. After vines have grown to a substantial height, pinch of the tops to augment your plant's production of peas. Snap peas get their name from the way they are prepared for cooking. Harvest your snap peas by cutting them from the vine with a sharp pair of garden nippers. Rinse peas in cold running water. Snap peas at the top of the pod and, sliding your thumb down the length of the pod, open it and free the peas into a clean bowl.

Storing and freezing

Transfer your peas into a large pot of boiling water for approximately 3 minutes. Immediately immerse peas in cold water to stop them from being cooked. Put peas in a colander to drain. Using a paper towel, dry peas and put them into a freezer bag for storage until you are ready to use them.

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