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How to sow and grow snow peas

Snow peas are a type of pea that you harvest when the pod is still flat. So you pick them before the peas inside thicken. Our snow peas grow beautifully, are huge, and produce a lot of pods.
Peultjes van de Makkelijke Moestuin
Snow pea pods ready to harvest

What are snow peas?

Snow peas belong to the pea family, just like sugar snaps.

But unlike sugar snaps, you harvest snow peas when the pods are still flat. That gives them a crispy crunch and makes them quick to cook.

Many varieties grow to around 1 meter tall, but ours can get even taller: up to 180 cm. That's why we sow them next to a trellis. When they grow straight up, the plants produce a lot without taking up much real estate in your garden box. Just 1 plant in 30x30 cm gives you a full snow pea patch.

Snow peas: full of vitamins, minerals and fiber

Snow peas contain vitamins A, B1, B5, and B6 and lots of vitamin C. Plus the minerals potassium, beta-carotene, and phosphorus.

Snow peas are low in calories, but high in fiber. Fiber is good for your digestion and makes you feel full.

Just don't eat the snow peas raw: like many other legumes, snow peas contain some lectins. Lectins in large quantities are a recipe for a stomach ache. Cooking the pods prevents this.
Peultjes aan het klimrek in de Makkelijke Moestuin
Snow peas on a trellis

More about our snow peas

This snow pea variety grows up to 180 cm tall and grows fast. It produces beautiful long, tender pods. The more you pick, the longer you harvest. Kids love them too.

Snow peas are cold-resistant so you can sow as early as mid-February.

The more sun they get, the faster they grow, and the sweeter the pods.
  • Species name: Herald
  • Family: legume
  • Plants per square patch: 8
  • Height: 130 to 180 cm tall
  • Sowing time: mid-February through end June, August
  • Sowing depth: 2 to 3 cm
  • Time to harvest: after 9-10 weeks
  • Germination: 7 - 23°C in 6 - 24 days
  • Sunlight: When sown early or late in the year, grows best in sun. When sown in late spring, grows in both sun and half shade. 
Would you like to grow your own snow peas? We sell seed bags separately, but you can also find snow pea seeds in the seed pack 'Climbers'.

What do you need to grow your own snow peas?

Just this:
  • a 30x30 cm patch with airy, nutritious soil mix
  • snow pea seeds
  • a place with at least 4 hours of sunlight a day
  • a trellis that the snow peas can climb up
In other words: an MM-Mini, or a square patch in one of our garden boxes, the MM-Klimrek trellis, and the best soil mix around: MM-Mix.

Growing your own snow peas is super easy with the MM-Mix. If you grow in low-quality (potting) soil, disappointment is pretty much guaranteed. So don't skimp on soil mix: go for the best.
Peultjes zet je bij het klimrek in een Makkelijke Moestuinbak
Snow pea plants at the back of the garden box grow up the trellis

How do you sow and grow snow peas?

Snow peas are included in the free Planty Gardening app. Use it, and you'll get step-by-step guidance from seed to harvest.

Each plant goes through a number of stages - we call them levels. The app tells you exactly what to do at each level and checks in when your plants are ready for the next.

So you don't need to know how to grow snow peas: the app takes you through every step.

But if you'd like to read more about those steps, here's what the process looks like:
Peultjes in de Makkelijke Moestuin
Mature snow peas

Level 1: Pre-sprouting snow peas

Before you sow your peas outside in your garden box, you want to help them create their first roots. We call this pre-sprouting.

Pre-sprouting is easy: lay the peas between 2 layers of damp paper towel. After about 4 days, they'll germinate and then you can sow them directly into your garden box.
Kiemende erwten van peultjes
Peas sprouting roots

Level 2: Sowing peas

Choose a square patch in the back row of your garden box under the trellis. Loosen up the damp MM-Mix and sow like this:
  • poke 8 holes in the patch (2 to 3 cm deep)
  • choose the nicest-looking peas with roots
  • put 1 pea in each hole: gently so the roots don't break off
  • carefully cover up the holes with soil mix
After about 1 to 2 weeks, you'll see something come up. It depends a bit on the weather and the time of year.

In a cold early spring, it will take a little longer. You can speed up the process by covering your snow pea patch with a crop cover - like the MM-Muts. It also prevents birds from pecking at the peas.
Peultjes zaaien in de Makkelijke Moestuin
Sprouted pea: ready to sow

Level 3: Pea seedlings

As soon as you see the first seedlings, you know things are going well. They probably won't all come up at once, but give it another week or 2.

Then it's time for the next level.
De zaailingen van de peultjes komen op in de Makkelijke Moestuin
Snow pea seedlings

Level 4: Caring for your snow pea plants

After a week or 2, your seedlings will become small plants. 

You hardly need to do anything. They'll grow quickly all on their own. Easy 🙂
Kleine plantjes van peultjes in de Makkelijke Moestuin
Small snow peas

Level 5: Climbing snow peas

The plants have little tentacles that they use to hold themselves up. That's how they climb the trellis. But when they're still small, you have to help them a little. 

Guide the snow pea tentacles to the bottom of the trellis: they'll grab on once they sense it's there.

In a week or 2, you'll see the first flowers.
Peultjes beginnen te klimmen aan het klimrek Makkelijke Moestuin
Snow pea plants attach themselves to the trellis

Level 6: Blossoming snow peas

Now the plants start to bloom: gorgeous butterfly flowers. The snow pea pods will grow from these flowers soon.
Bloemen van peultjes in de Makkelijke Moestuin
Snow pea flowers

Level 7: Harvest the first snow peas

Harvest early and often. That way the plants produce more flowers and more pea pods.

At this stage, it's normal for the leaves to turn yellow and look scraggly - especially the undersides of the leaves.
Bloeiende en oogstbare peultjes in de Makkelijke Moestuin
Flowering snow peas and harvestable pods

How do you harvest and cook snow peas?

Cut the pods and remove any threads from the side. 

You eat the pods with the peas inside.

Blanch or steam the snow peas and toss them in a wok or stir-fry dish, or make salads with them. The fresh snow pea flavor goes well with a lot of other vegetables.
Recepten met peultjes: met geroosterde amandelen en citroenschil
Snow peas with roasted almonds and lemon zest

The last levels

During the next level, you continue to harvest snow peas until there's not many left and no new flowers. This can take a month or more. From 1 snow pea patch you'll harvest a lot.

At the last level, remove the plants and get ready to sow something new in your patch.
Van peultjes in de Makkelijke Moestuin oogst je minstens een maand
Snow peas can be harvested for at least a month

So, what's stopping you from growing snow peas yourself?

It is a tasty and easy plant to grow. Plus you can start early, as early as mid-February. They do great in the cold spring weather and aren't bothered by pests. And at the end of the summer, you can sow again. 

Plus: with the help of our app and with our materials, it's almost impossible to fail 😉 

Buy your snow peas here or get started with a complete starter kit:
Enjoy!
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