Garden / Resources

how to grow sugar snap peas

If you’re a gardener in the northwest {or would like to be}, it’s time to plant your sugar snap peas!

The Northwest is a great place to garden!  Although we don’t receive as much sun or heat as California, our climate is moderate enough that we can grow most crops outdoors, six months of the year.  You can even jump start your crops by starting seeds inside and transitioning them outside in the spring.  IMG_5749


In Washington, we can plant snap peas as early as February 15.  This year February was cold and I was busy, so I didn’t plant mine until early March.  If you haven’t started gardening yet, it is certainly not too late.

Here’s what you’ll need:

– A container {with holes in the bottom}, raised bed, or a patch of dirt you’ll call your garden.

– A trellis for your peas to climb {you can use bamboo posts and twine, or a pre made version, but make sure it provides at least 8 feet of growing room}.

– Good quality planting soil {try Gardner & Bloom Harvest Supreme}.

– Compost for providing added natural fertilizer to your garden {try Cedar Grove compost}.

– Seeds {purchasing organic will avoid genetically modified seeds} for northwest or northeast gardening {try Territorial Seed Company, or Johnny’s Seeds}.

– And of course water and light.  Luckily, in Washington in the spring, mother nature provides both of those in abundance.  After their first water,  you typically don’t need any added water for your garden until early summer}.

You can purchase all of these supplies at your local nursery.  In Seattle, try City People’sSwanson’s, or Molbak’s.  In the spring, PCC Natural Markets even carries most of these supplies.

Planting your Peas

Once you have all of your supplies, add the soil and compost {1/2 and 1/2} to your container.  Add your trellis to the container, plant your peas {I like to soak mine overnight} according to the directions on the back of the package, and water them; giving them a good soak on the first round.  Once they start to sprout {typically after a week or two}, you’ll eventually need to train them up the trellis.  Peas grow toward the light so I often times need to weave them through my twine system, being careful not to break the sprouts.

That’s it –  you’ll have delicious fresh snap peas to eat in June and July!

If you’d like to plant other crops this spring, check out this gardening calendar, put out by the City of Seattle P-Patch program.


{image source}


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