Article: Traudi Kalivoda and Mary Flowers (COGS Quarterly – Summer 1993)
The sugar snap pea is a wonderful vegetable – easy to grow, productive and tasty. Eaten fresh from the vine they are absolutely delicious. Sugar snap peas can be cooked, stir fried or frozen but most organic gardeners – and especially children – will enjoy them right off the vine.
Sowing is best done in early February for an autumn crop or August to early October. As sugar snap peas don’t like it too hot, seed packets indicate that they are always suitable plants for our colder Canberra climate. I found with all peas that sowing in May is a waste of time as we get no pollination from insects at this time of the year.
Sugar snap peas are deep-rooted plants and prefer slightly alkaline soil; eg soil rich in compost. As a legume they produce their own nitrogen but require phosphate and . potassium rich soil.
Prepare 15cm trenches enriched with well rotted compost. Plant seeds in zig-zag fashion along trench 7-8cm between them. Fill trench with soil and gently firm down. Don’t water the plants a great deal before they flower. Once flowers appear, water twice weekly around the base of the plant. The plants require a firm 1.8 metre trellis.
Harvest any time after the pods fill out – about 70 to 75 days after sowing seeds. Sugar snaps are sweetest and tastiest if you let them get really rounded and fat.