Snow peas are very easy to grow in the suburban garden. You just need some trellis or old branches for them to cling to as they grow and some well composted soil. Just keep the soil moist as they grow, which at this time of year is not difficult. Plant snow peas in the cooler seasons and germinate at soil temperatures between 8° – 20°C (46° – 68°F). Here in our temperate zone they are best sown from April to September.
A few rows is all you need to keep you supplied with delicious sweet snow peas for a few months of the year. Succession planting will ensure a longer crop.
Snow peas also host beneficial bacteria, rhizobia, in their root nodules, which fix nitrogen in the soil. They are great companion plant, so try growing leafy greens like kale or chard (silverbeet) in close proximity. They will benefit from the additional nitrogen.
If saving the seed for your next crop, let a few of the pods mature and dry on the plant. Pick when brown and the seeds are round and hard. Store in an airtight jar to prevent them from absorbing moisture or going mouldy. The seeds will keep for up to 5 years. Don’t forget to label them with the year that you collected them. I slip a little bit of paper into the jar with the date and type of seed it contains so that I don’t have to guess next year.
Who said that food gardening was hard? Go on, what are you waiting for? Get outside and plant snow peas this week!