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Beginning Gardeners' Guide to Growing Sugar Snap Peas

By [1]Kristine Clemenger

From ידיעות אחרונות

One of my very favorite vegetables to grow are sugar snap peas (also called edible-podded peas for obvious reasons). Sugar snap peas differ from snow peas in that their pods are round as opposed to flat. Sugar snap peas are easy to grow and so tasty! The pods are crisp and delicious. They can be eaten straight off the vine, fresh for dipping in hummus as an appetizer, added to salads or stir fried, sauteed or steamed. Peas have high levels of several important nutrients including many B vitamins.

Peas are a cool weather crop so they are best grown in the spring in many parts of the U.S. or as a great winter crop in areas where gardening is available all year around (such as my own home in San Diego). In cold weather climates they can be planted as soon as the soil can be worked and the plants will tolerate light frost. Be sure to plant in an area that gets enough sunlight. Peas (as well as most other veggies) usually need at least six hours of sun, though you may get by with less.

Peas are climbers. They need the support of a trellis or fence to climb on and they need it early in their growing season. They climb with vining tendrils that grab on to anything around them for support. Be sure that you have a trellis in place by the time the seedlings are about 4 inches high. You may need to help the vines climb by gently guiding the tendrils through the spaces in the trellis. Once the vines begin to grow, they grow very fast if they are happy. Be sure to check on them every day or two and guide the tendrils toward the trellis if needed.

Peas need relatively high levels of nitrogen to flower and fruit and for healthy growth. Many people recommend a commercial bean and pea inoculant for this purpose. I have an easier, less expensive "old time" remedy to this problem. When your peas are 4 to 6 inches high (or larger - if you've forgotten earlier, it's OK, it's not too late!) take your 2 gallon watering can, add just a couple tablespoons of regular household ammonia and fill the can with water. Water your plants liberally with this ammonia water. It will add the necessary nitrogen to the soil and plants and they will begin flowering like crazy.

Before too long you will be ready to harvest the fruits of your labors. The most important thing to remember now is that the harvest is a two-handed exercise. Do not attempt to just pull the peas off the vine with one hand. You will only succeed in damaging the plants and pulling the vines away from the trellis. Hold the vine carefully with one hand and pull the pea off with the other.

Eat a few as you harvest, you won't be able to resist. Enjoy!

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Kristine Clemenger, a Holistic Health Practitioner in San Diego, California since 1999, is the author of many articles on holistic health, gardening, fitness and nutrition. She is also a Stand Up Paddle, nature and travel enthusiast!

Article Source: [2] Beginning Gardeners' Guide to Growing Sugar Snap Peas

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