Maintaining Snow Peas Maintaining Snow Peas
If you're looking for a cool season vegetable to grow, why not try snow peas? They're fairly frost hardy and don't require much work. It's best to plant in early spring when all frost is past. Although the plants can survive frost once they've sprouted, you're better off if you spare it from experiencing the strain. Dry soils are preferred for planting. Sunshine is good for snow peas, but don't plant in an area where they will be subjected to direct sunlight all day. Following are some tips in maintaining your snow peas.
Snow peas do not require as much water as other garden vegetables. Give them no more than 1 inch of water, once weekly if planted during the spring. If you live in an area that receives heavy spring rains, you can cut back on watering. More water should be given during flowering and pod development.
If you plant in summer you will need to give them more water, as the hot weather facilitates more water loss from the soil. Give your peas about 2 inches of water weekly, especially during the first month of growing.
Peas are generally a low-feeder crop. However, they will benefit from fertilizer application during the growing season. Apply a slow-release fertilizer onto soil when cultivating snow peas. This will encourage proper growth and good health of the plants. You may also apply liquid kelp or seaweed two or three times in the growing season, to support healthy growth.
Mulching is essential in maintaining the soil temperatures at cooler levels, especially during the summer. It also helps to reduce rapid loss of water from the soil through evaporation. Apply about 4 inches of organic mulch during the first month of growing in the summer. Mulch will also discourage weed growth.
Snow peas are generally cool season crops and will be affected by too much direct sunlight. Be sure to provide some protection from the sun, especially if planted during the summer for a fall harvest. Use a shade netting to provide some relief from the high summer temperatures in the first month of growth.
After your peas sprout, install some stakes for support. You can do this during the second month of planting, either in the spring or summer. Chicken wire is a good material to use. Place it in between the rows of peas to provide a trellis as the plant grows. This will help lift the plant off the ground and support more comfortable growth.
Harvesting Snow Peas
You can look forward to harvesting about 2 months after planting. You will know the peas are ready to be picked when the pods begin to swell. The pods should be waxy with a bright green color. Taste for sweetness before you harvest. Every couple of days you can harvest and enjoy fresh peas on your table. It is best to pluck off lower pods first and move upwards. Picking stimulates production.