Sugar snap peas are grown for their edible pods that have a slightly sweet taste when compared with other edible pod pea varieties, such as mangetout. Snap peas have a shallow root system, making them suitable to growing in the confines of a container garden. Snap peas produce their pods along long vines that must be supported during the plant's entire life cycle, which is the main issue that must be overcome when growing the peas in a planter.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Potting soil
- Poles, 6 foot
- Pea seeds
Place one or two bricks in the bottom of a 3- to 5-gallon plastic planter. Place the bricks so they do not cover the bottom drainage holes in the planter. The bricks weigh down the planter so it does not become top-heavy as the peas grow.
Fill the planter with a moist soil mix. Leave a 2-inch space between the top of the planter and the top of the soil.
Insert two or three 6-foot bamboo poles into the planter near the rim, pushing them down until the poles hit the bottom of the pot. Space the poles 3 to 6 inches apart.
Sow two to three pea seeds around the base of each pole, planting each to a 1-inch depth. Space the peas 3 inches apart around the poles.
Water the container when the soil surface begins to feel dry. Water until the excess moisture begins draining from the bottom of the pot.
Guide the young pea plants to the nearest pole, once they have grown tall enough, by moving the growing tip of each vine until it touches the pole. The vine then climbs the pole on its own with no need for further guidance.
Harvest the pea pods when they are firm, green and just beginning to swell with the pea seeds inside. Frequent harvesting leads to further pod production.
Tips and warnings
- Use a heavy clay or stone planter if you don't wish to use bricks. These are heavy enough to stay upright with no difficulty.
- Buy pea seeds that are labelled as inoculated. These have been treated so that they produce their own nitrogen nutrient needs without the need for fertiliser.
- Avoid touching the plants when they are wet, as this spreads disease. Harvest pods in the afternoon when the plants are dry.
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