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 New Zealand - cool/mountain 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

31 Aug 20, Mandy (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Are snow peas better to be staked and do they grow up tall like beans or not so high? (Gardenate : see info here / Peas?zone=5 )
01 Sep 20, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
There are snow peas that can grow over 2m tall. Then there are some that grow to 1.2-1.5m. In sub tropical Australia I grow Giant Oregon, to about 1.2-1.5m. Good heavy producer. You need to build a trellis for them to grow on. I have 2 posts 2.4m apart and 1.8m out of the ground. A cross beam at the top to stop them falling inwards. I use chicken wire as my trellis. Plant about 15 peas each side of the wire. Then I put 3-4 stakes (15-18mm square) on each side. I then wrap cord/twine/?? around the stakes and posts, each 150-200mm up the posts, for the plant to grip onto.
06 Jun 20, thorsten stanley (New Zealand - temperate climate)
re problems with snow peas- i may have found the problem; this year I planted earlier and found newly sprouted plants lying on the soil, I suspect it's birds. Having found kakas eating my feijoas ( caught red clawed) it MIGHT be them but suspect european imports as they seem to get past small holes in netting. Now bought many metres of netting and TRY AGAIN! :-)
08 Jun 20, Anonymous (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
I build a trellis 2.1m long and 1.8m high. Put 1.2m stakes in about 500mm from trellis base. Then put netting around the whole thing. 1/2
10 Oct 19, Thorsten Stanley (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Planted snow peas 3 times in same place starting in July then August then September. Apart from an occasional plant nothing has come up. Peas grew fine there previous years and peas of same make growing in other parts of the garden. I live in Wellington. Is something eating them and what can I do? Nearest plants are baby potatoes. Spring so far has been mild rest of garden very happy
11 Oct 19, anonymous (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Seeds like peas, beans, corn etc need to be planted in damp soil and then not watered for 3-4-5 days. If hot put some shade over them until they germinate. July and August are probably the worst months to try and germinate seeds along with Jan and Feb. Coldest and hottest times of the year. Soil temperature may have been a problem. Look up a temperature germination chart. Also try some crop rotation. If seeds haven't germinated in a reasonable amount of time have a gentle dig around to try and find them. See if they are ok or rotten.
10 Oct 19, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
If you have used seeds from the same packet each time, it might be the seeds. Try a different brand. Egmont seeds seem pretty reliable and have an on-line catalogue.
18 Dec 23, Graham (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Have you tried pre-germinating your seed? I soak peas beans, and all my cucurbits overnight in blood-warm water. Also, I hope that NIWA long-range forecast for rain is correct! Good luck with your gardening.
11 Feb 12, Al (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
A little confused with the snow peas info. It says to grow Apr-Oct which is Autumn, winter to spring but then says at the end start in pots in frost prone areas. In New Zealand -cool/mountain we can get hard frosts throughout that entire time. Are the plants really going to grow in the middle of winter?
02 May 20, Simon (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi They will grow in winter, but not where there are hard frosts. If you get heavy frost wait till the threat of them is over.
Showing 1 - 10 of 12 comments

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