Flowers of snow peas plants in a garden.

How to Plant Snow Peas in Your Garden

These are also known as “mangetout”—“eat all” in French—and that is exactly what you do with these tender, crunchy pods. The young pods of any peas can be eaten whole, but these have soft inner walls, are flat, and the peas inside do not swell. Add them to stir fries, lightly steam, or eat them raw in salads.

When to plant: Spring.

At their best: Summer.

Time to complete: 1 hour.

You will need: Snow pea seed, spade, rake, pea sticks or pea netting.

Before you plant

Choose a sunny, open spot, and dig the soil over about a month before sowing time. Use a rake to make a trench deep 1 ¼ in (3 cm) deep, and sow the seed 2 in (5 cm) apart. Cover the seed with soil and water in well.

Support and care

Push pea sticks into the ground close to the seed. Keep the plants well-watered, especially when they are flowering, and during warm weather. Harvest frequently, as soon as the pods reach 2–2 ½ in (5–6 cm) long.

Sugarsnap peas

This is another pea relative that is eaten whole, pod and all. The difference between these and snow peas is that sugarsnaps have a firm inner pod that gives them more of a crunch. They also swell up like normal pea pods.

Planting and care

Sugarsnap peas grow well in cool conditions, and can be sown directly into the soil from early spring for a summer crop; sow in midsummer for an autumn crop. Sow a small amount of seed every couple of weeks, using the same method as peas, to give a succession of crops. Since some sugarsnap peas grow tall, provide a sturdy frame 6 ft (2 m) high with long pea sticks, or pea netting stretched between upright poles. Keep the peas well-watered. Harvest the pods while young and tender, which will encourage the plants to produce more.