snow peas: to trellis or not?

thatcompostguyMay 12, 2014

I have several kinds of snow peas planted now. Some I got at the feed & seed for half what I paid elsewhere. I haven't trellised any of them. I don't mind flopping the bush from side to side to pick them all. The ones I got locally look much better than the others. Smaller, more compact plants, surprisingly upright even without a trellis. one of the others has larger stems that are much more fragile. And sparse on the peas as well compared to the others. They're either Oregon Giants or Mammoth Melting.

Would trellising make a big difference other than possibly making it easier to harvest? I'm not even sure it would make harvest easier because I'd have to make a pass on both sides of the trellis. As it is, I do two rows at one time, going from side to side as I work my way down the row.

Out of 400 row feet, I got 6.5 pounds for the first pass. I have 200 feet of the less productive peas that weren't ready yet. And another 200 feet that were planted a month later. I think I'll stick with the local seed next year.

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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

If it works for you carry on. Why make work?

Some varieties are shorter and more self supporting. Old fashioned varieties can be 6 feet tall.

In wet climates the plants would soon be covered in mud splashes and prey to every passing gastropod. Giving some support keeps plants and pods clean, allows air to circulate and stops the plants climbing over each other and hiding the pods. Plus I prefer to pick at knee to hip height rather than off the ground.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 1:50PM
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sleevendog

What grows well in your climate may not do so well for me. Also why i like to purchase local seed as you did.
I trellis to keep my plants off the ground as well, and easier harvesting. Your local seeds must be a bush variety. I do interplant climbers and a few bush type and many varieties to also have a variety at the kitchen table.
As mentioned, it sounds like it is working out great for you. No need to change unless you want to try some other varieties next year that really like to climb a bit.
Some seem to like a simple low 4ft trellis for a bit of support. Many options and systems available.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 7:35AM
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sleevendog

What grows well in your climate may not do so well for me. Also why i like to purchase local seed as you did.
I trellis to keep my plants off the ground as well, and easier harvesting. Your local seeds must be a bush variety. I do interplant climbers and a few bush type and many varieties to also have a variety at the kitchen table.
As mentioned, it sounds like it is working out great for you. No need to change unless you want to try some other varieties next year that really like to climb a bit.
Some seem to like a simple low 4ft trellis for a bit of support. Many options and systems available.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 7:36AM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

Off topic Chris, but do you know the variety? I live kinda near you, close to Fountain Inn.

This heat has about done mine in. I have sugar daddy. I trellised mine but they didn't need it.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 10:08AM
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thatcompostguy

I should have checked yesterday when I stopped by. I forgot. I'll check next time. I know the ones I paid more for are Mammoth Melting and Oregon Giant. the store is affiliated with Southern States, so I assume whatever they get is what they sell. They didn't used to carry them in bulk until I started asking about them a few years ago. Not sure I'm the reason they sell them, but it sure is quite a coincidence. I don't see many snow peas on the SS website. I know the owner, so I can ask whether they're a SS seed or otherwise.

Mine are going gangbusters right now. I planted them at the beginning of March, so they got a late start. Be that as it may, I've harvested around 11 pounds of peas from that 1 pound of seed. Sunday, I picked all 400 row feet in 4 hours. I scoot on a 5 gallon bucket between two at a time and just pick side to side. works for me. I got 6.5 pounds Sunday. Tuesday night, I got 4 more pounds just from the first 200 feet. I haven't picked anymore, but they're loaded. Next pick will probably be Saturday morning now unless it dries out some tomorrow.

The later planted peas went in at the beginning of April and are already blooming and putting out. I saw some babies last night from the end of the row. They're not very tall or healthy looking. All this rain should really make them happy!

I'm taking most of them in to work and selling at $3 per pound or $2 for a half pound. last year, it was $2 per pound. Next year, it may be $4 per pound. Lots of work involved, but these are in high demand. I hate to gouge people, and there is a point at which I think it's better to stop and just enjoy what I can get. I'll probably sell tomatoes for 50 cents per pound later on, so I should even out over time. They're so much easier to pick.

There's a May video tour on YouTube...

Here is a link that might be useful: May garden tour

This post was edited by chrisb_sc_z7 on Thu, May 15, 14 at 15:40

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 3:21PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

Thanks Chris, I'll look for Mammoth Melting and Oregon Giant for next year. I like snap peas but I prefer shelled, too much fiber for my system.

Mine have took off again after the cooler weather and the good rain Thursday. Sugar Daddy can be snapped or shelled but I wait to shelling stage. I picked 3 quarts, shelled, yesterday.

$3 a pound sounds cheap to me! I don't have enough to sell, I only have a 75' row. Enough to eat and freeze. If I did have extra I would probably be too kind and give them away. Like I did with my extra tomato plants.

I need to get out of that mode, I give away a lot of stuff!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 12:21PM
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donna_in_sask

I much prefer the flavour of sugar snaps peas than the flat podded snow peas. Trellising is a bit of work at the start but you end up with healthier plants and possibly more production.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 3:25PM
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cold_weather_is_evil(9)

One "compromise" thing you might do for support is to toss a bunch of brushy bare branches in amongst the peas when smaller. It could help support them and be a nearly labor-less solution. Cheaper too.

The wood does get in the way only a little bit if you want to toss down pea straw for mulch later.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 3:34PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

I do double duty on my trellis. I plant my peas down one side, then when it's time for my runner beans, I plant them on the other side.

By the time the runners take over the peas are done.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 11:14AM
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thatcompostguy

I picked another 13 pounds off the first two rows again last night. Larger pods now, quicker to run up the weight. Still stringless up to close to the stem end. i ate quite a few larger pods right off the plants to make sure they were still edible and they were. I'll dig into the next couple of rows tonight.

Yes, $3 is cheap. I'm not in this to make money, obviously. And what takes effort now for the return, I'll make up for once easier harvests come along.

Years ago, I gave everything away util someone brought in blueberries that they were selling for someone else. I made some comment under my breath and someone heard me and said they'd pay me, too, if I wanted. So i started charging very cheap amounts for veggies. It's just seed money, and on good years, i can cover my seed money. But I've started mail ordering more in recent years and it's getting harder to cover it. And with rain last summer, I lost a lot. But I almost never promise anything other than that I'll try. I don't want to be beholding to anybody, so I bring what I can and take what I get. People are appreciative. Make a lot of friends with fresh veggies! :-)

As for trellising, by accident one year, I planted snow peas after I turned under a lot of winter rye and must have missed some or it resprouted. Anyway, my peas grew up on the rye stems and it was the neatest thing I'd seen in a long time. I tried to recreate it and it didn't work. But if I could... :-)

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 11:31AM
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