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

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 (commons.wikimedia.org - 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. the 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 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?
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
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.
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.

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.

- Liz

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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