How to grow sugar snap peas

How to grow sugar snap peas

Find out how to grow a delicious crop of sugar-snap peas, in our practical guide.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
At its best
At its best

Plant is not at its best in January

Plant is not at its best in February

Plant is not at its best in March

Plant is not at its best in April

Plant is not at its best in May

Plant is at its best in June

Plant is at its best in July

Plant is at its best in August

Plant is not at its best in September

Plant is not at its best in October

Plant is not at its best in November

Plant is not at its best in December

To do
To do

Do not To do in January

Do To do in February

Do To do in March

Do To do in April

Do not To do in May

Do not To do in June

Do not To do in July

Do not To do in August

Do not To do in September

Do not To do in October

Do not To do in November

Do not To do in December

Sugar snap peas score top marks for taste and texture. As with so many crops, home-grown sugar snaps are much sweeter and juicier than anything you can buy in a shop. You can grow them in large containers as well as in beds, as long as they’re kept well watered. A fairly sheltered spot in full or part sun will suit them best. It’s a good idea to make several sowings at two or three week intervals, to increase the potential harvesting period.

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You Will Need

  • Sugar snap pea seeds
  • Multi-purpose, peat-free compost
  • Small pots
  • Canes
  • Chicken wire

Step 1

Planting out sugar-snap peas
Planting out sugar-snap peas

For early crops, sow seed indoors now in pots or cells. Transplant into the garden when the seedlings are about 12-15cm high. This helps reduce damage from slugs, snails and pigeons.

Step 2

Sowing sugar-snap peas
Sowing sugar-snap peas

When weather is warmer, sow every two to three weeks directly into well-prepared soil, 5cm deep. A flat trench, dug in a line or a circle, works well.

Step 3

Placing mesh around sugar snap peas
Placing mesh around sugar snap peas

Where space is at a premium, growing plants in a circle allows them to be trained up a tepee of cane and chicken wire mesh. The mesh keeps young plants close to the supports, making it easier for them to climb, and keeps the pigeons away.

Step 4

Sugar snap pea pod
Sugar snap pea pod

Sugar snap peas become stringy and tough if left too long, so pick as soon as they start to plump up and make a satisfying snap when bent. Hold the stem as you remove each pod to reduce the risk of damage to the plant.

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Water regularly as peas need a moist soil if they are to produce a heavy crop. In a drier garden, you should consider mulching the soil to conserve moisture.

Seedlings. Photo: Getty Images.