harvesting-snap-peas

Harvesting Snap Peas

Snap Peas are the younger hipper generation of pea. They inherited all the best traits from their parents the snow pea and the English pea. Snap peas can be shelled to produce excellent pea soup, they can also be eaten raw pod and all for a sweet and crisp snack. Grow them as a great dual-purpose pea. They are easy to care for and a lot of fun.

Days to Maturity

Every seed packet will have a ‘days to maturity’ or ‘days to harvest’ column. Each variety of snap pea will be slightly different, they tend to average around 65 days. Take into account when temperatures in your region rise consistently above 70°F (21°C). Peas should be harvested before the weather gets that warm.

  • Sugar Ann – 56 Days
  • Cascadia – 67 Days
  • Sugar Lace – 68 Days

When are they Ripe?

Snap peas can be treated like snow peas in that they are technically ready to pick as soon as they appear on the vine. The pods are sweet and edible so there is no need to wait for the inner pea seed to develop fully.

However, as they reach their full maturity the pods will begin to plump up and round out. When picked at this time they will fully mature peas inside. The pods are still edible.

Time of Day

Early in the morning is the best time to pick vegetables; when the air is cool and the dew is still on the leaves. The plants have soaked up water through the night and grown plump with moisture. When picked at this peak time of day, the fruit will stay crisp and juicy for longer.

Fruit picked at mid-day tends to go limp, wilt, or dry out faster than fruit picked in the early hours of dawn. Snap peas that have fully matured to a plump rounded shape hold up fairly well, even when picked during the day because of how fibrous they are. If you plan on eating them right away then pick them anytime.

How to Harvest Snap Peas

Peas hold fast to their vines. The stems which connect the fruit are often stronger than the tendrils which hold the vine onto its trellis. For this reason, you can’t simply pull a pea off of a vine. Doing this may damage or break the vine itself.

You need two hands to harvest peas. Hold the upper stem in one hand and pluck the pea off with the other providing leverage so you’re not pulling on the vine itself. It’s more like pinching that picking.

Picking encourages the vines to produce more peas, so don’t hesitate to get a harvest. Check back each day for newly ripened peas.