Growing Sugar Snap Peas in Tennessee
“Fresh snap peas are a reason unto themselves for having your own garden.”From Food Grown Right, In Your Backyard
Last year was my first attempt at growing sugar snap peas. As with all first time gardening exploits there is much to learn from googling, youtube videos, farm podcasts, and most of all, personal experience. Last year I experimented with starting some seeds indoors and some direct sown into the raised beds. I waited until March 29th to plant the outdoor seeds. I only tried one type, Cascadia Sugar Snap Peas, and used only one small packet. The direct sown peas were much more successful and hearty. Using only one packet I barely grew enough sugar snaps for one family meal and a few snacks here and there.
This year I am bringing my past year’s experience into growing sugar snap peas here in middle Tennessee. Using the Farmer’s Almanac planting dates calendar as my guide, I started the sugar snap pea seeds outside on February 23rd, a full month earlier than last year’s planting. I have four different types of seeds from two different companies. Ferry-Morse seed types are Cascadia Sugar Snap, Sugar Snap, and Sugar Daddy. Purchased online from Eden Brothers I have Sugar Ann Snap Peas.
I have been keeping a gardening journal since about 2017. I highly recommend doing this. It is hard to remember when and what I planted even from month to month, let alone from year to year. In my notes I include not only the plants and dates, but also the weather and phenology. Have you heard of phenology? According to the Farmer’s Almanac phenology is simply observing the signs in nature to guide your gardening. For example, the almanac suggests watching for apple trees to blossom as a guide for when to plant bush beans. And when the apple blossoms fall it is time to plant pole beans and cucumbers. When the bearded irises begin blooming it is a good time to transplant pepper and eggplant seedlings.
Today all the sugar snap pea shoots are looking terrific. The Sugar Daddy Snap Peas are the tallest at this stage. The Sugar Ann snap peas are the smallest right now. We are looking forward to tasting each of the four varieties. At this stage the shoots can be eaten as microgreens.
I hope to have plenty of sugar snap peas to try some fun recipes this summer. Click here for a Sugar Snap Pea and Berry Summer salad from Allrecipes.com that sounds delicious and refreshing.