snowpeas

August in the Patch – How to Grow Snow Peas

snowpeas
Part of last year’s hefty snow pea harvest.

GROW

I don’t know many people who don’t like snow peas. These sweet crunchy pods are incredibly easy to grow and require very little from you. Nice soil, something to hang on to and as many slugs and snails removed as possible are really all that you need to grow snow peas.

These are an annual planting in my garden and this year, as always, I’m running a little experiment.

There’s not much science involved, just a bit of observation, and taste.

This year I’ve planted two varieties of snow peas just to see how they measure up against each other.

Snow Pea Yakumo is up against the unimaginatively named Dwarf Pea Sugar Pod in a battle of the palate and productivity.

True to its name, the Dwarf Pea Sugar Pod is a lot smaller than the mighty Yakumo and would probably suit someone looking for a compact variety for small places.

Being August I won’t be seeing any pods until the middle of September when as usual, I’ll have far too many.

According to my Gardenate app I planted these in early June. They really haven’t done much since their initial burst, but luckily the birds and slugs have left them alone. They are ready though to spring forth and avail me with their pods.

You have up until the end of October to plant your snow peas so don’t feel that you’ve missed out.

In fact the danger of  frost damaging the flowers and pods is higher in the seedlings that I have coming up at the moment. Leaving your planting until September/October isn’t such a bad idea.

Snow peas like a rich, slightly alkaline soil, to grow in. If you have a wood fire, sprinkle some of the ash around where you plant. Not only does it discourage snails and slugs, wood ash is a great source of potash and other essential elements. It will however slightly increase the ph level in your garden so keep it away from areas where your acid lovers, like potatoes, will one day dwell.

SITE AND SOIL: Light and loamy with a slight tilt towards alkalinity.

SOWING AND PLANTING: Snow and snap peas grow best in cool weather but the flowers are susceptible to frost. Plant the seed where they are to grow in late autumn or late winter and early spring. The plants will crop for as long as the weather is cool. As the weather warms up towards summer, the plants will wither and die.

ROUTINE CARE: Give them something to climb up that’s easy to harvest from. Protect from birds, slugs, snails, mice and hungry Labradors.

COMMON PROBLEMS: The difficult to control Pea Moth will spoil a crop by getting into the pods. Soil that is too wet will also cause stem and root rot. Hilling your rows will help alleviate that problem somewhat. Powdery mildew can also be a problem, but by the time that it is, the plant will probably be withering from the heat anyway.

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