Growing Snow Peas, also Sugar Peas, Mangetout, Chinese Peas

Pisum sativum var. macrocarpon : Fabaceae / the pea or legume family

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
    P P P              

(Best months for growing Snow Peas in USA - Zone 5a regions)

  • P = Sow seed
  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 46°F and 68°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 3 - 4 inches apart
  • Harvest in 12-14 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Carrots, Endive, Florence fennel, Winter lettuce, Brassicas.
  • Avoid growing close to: Chives, Alliums, Tomatoes
  • Snow Pea on plant ( - JS - CC BY-SA 3.0)

They are similar to garden peas but have a softer pod.

Snow peas are best grown in cooler seasons. They need some support when growing, tree prunings with lots of small twigs are a cheap and handy source. Or else strings between posts or wire netting. Peas need tying in the early stages, until they start producing tendrils and clinging to the support.

Will not grow well in hot weather. Protect seeds from birds and mice. Pick early and often before the pods become tough.

Start in pots in frost prone areas.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Snow Peas

Cook whole or eat raw in salads

Your comments and tips

11 Feb 09, Ivan Alesich (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
I look after a vineyard on Waiheke Island the soil is in not very good condition and was thinking of planting snow peas in the winter and after harvesting the snow peas was intending to mulch the plants. A) do you think this would be of benefit to my soil and B) would snow peas grow in the clay soils of Waiheke Island. Look forward to feed back, thank you
13 Sep 10, Ryan h (Australia - temperate climate)
Ivan, Mulching the plants after the crop would be a great idea. Snow peas indeed can grow in clay soil. fertilize a little first and you should be fine, i planted alot of seeds in my clay soil and they all germinated and are happily growing! Just keep well watered as clay soil cakes easily.
11 Mar 09, Jeneara (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
As with all legumes, snow peas host beneficial bacteria, rhizobia, that fixes nitrogen in the soil — this is called a mutualistic relationship and are therefore a useful companion plant, especially useful to grow intercropped with green, leafy vegetables that benefit from high nitrogen content in their soil. (wikipedia)
14 Mar 09, Jeff (Australia - temperate climate)
I live in Melbourne and have been growing snow peas for years, in autumn/winter. Just a few plants were enough to pick for a quick stirfry once a week , the pods were ready to pick just 3-4 days after flowering. I did break up the clay soil in my garden and dig in plenty of manure and organic matter. They are very susceptible to powdery mildew, typically, the new growth just about 'outrun' the mildew which would of course have started with the older growth. I don't use pesticides, but still managed to get a good crop. I am not an expert on mildews etc but to be on the safe side, I don't use the plants as mulch. They would need trellises and shelter from strong winds as the stems are very soft. Good luck.
22 Mar 09, Matt (Australia - temperate climate)
Growing snow peas weather conditions too hot though, if it helps i know they don't like full sun or summer conditions and they don't like he wind either... i guess Geraldton is a bad place to grow snow peas They seem to be surviving though with lots o tender loving care and fertilizer
01 May 09, Son (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I am doing some research on how fertilizers affect the snow peas. Does anyone know any type of fertilizers which could affect the yield of the plant?
22 Jun 09, Our awesomesauceness tech group (Australia - temperate climate)
We are just preparing to plant snow peas for school. Is there anyone that can give us some tips for how quickly it grows? Thanks :).
24 Jun 09, Annalisa (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Snow peas grow fast - my kids LOVE them because of this. TIP: Make sure you have a trellace or something for them to climb on right away because if they don't have anywhere to climb, they will start to become really "sad". Also - roots can go VERY deep, so make sure there's room downwards as well. I used to pot them, but learned quickly that the roots travel too far for small pots.
07 Nov 09, (Australia - temperate climate)
thanks for all your great tips! its really helped me with mine :)
24 Feb 10, Sara (Australia - temperate climate)
I am going to try my first crop of snow peas,I will prepare the bed first as the soil is not in good condition and hope to get a good result, after reading all the the tips. A bit afraid of powery mildew. I live in Adelaide
Showing 1 - 10 of 215 comments

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