Green Peas

  • Sun: Full Sun
  • Harvest Size: 2.5 inch pods
  • Days to Harvest: 52
  • Plant Size: 6-foot vine

Sugar snap-style green peas quite popular, as they bear lots of sweet, tasty peas. This variety, Sugar Ann Snap, is a 1984 All-America Selections winner. Sugar snap peas are bred so you can shell them like English peas, pick while young and flat to eat like snow peas, or let them fill out to eat the pods with peas inside like a snap pea. Sugar Ann has good disease resistance.

Snap peas are one of your first crops to plant in early spring; plants can take light frost and love cool, damp weather. Just wait until soil is workable, especially in cold regions. Gardeners in warmer areas can also plant a fall crop, but expect lower yields than in spring.

Plant spacing: 5 inches apart. Plants per person: 10 to 15 for fresh, 15 to 20 for fresh and freezing.

Secrets to Success »

Sugar Ann vines are compact and will grow without support, but they grow best when supported. Whether in the ground or containers, insert the cage or trellis before planting to avoid hurting tender plants. In a large container, plant several seedlings around the edge and train the vines up a tomato cage.

When plants reach 6 inches tall, add a 2-inch layer of compost. after planting using Bonnie Herb & Vegetable Plant Food, but there’s no need to feed throughout grow, as peas (like all legumes) find their own source of nitrogen through bacteria in the soil. Keep your pea plot weed free—use mulch and pull weeds by hand.

Withhold water slightly during the early growing phase to encourage deeper rooting (peas tend to be shallowly rooted). Watering is critical from the appearance of the first flower until harvest. Peas need consistent moisture to develop full, flavorful pods.

Harvest and Use »

Sugar Ann snap peas are a sweet snack, great for teaching kids to love veggies, and also contain plenty of iron and vitamin C. Pick when the pods start to fatten but before they get too large, especially for eating the whole pod. The more you pick, the more the plants produce, until temperature reach the 80s and, alas, pea season is over. Sugar snaps have the best, sweetest flavor within hours from picking. Preserve your harvest by freezing pods in freezer bags.

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