Snow peas are a variety of garden peas with thin walls and very small pea fruit inside. The pods are flat but completely edible, unlike shelling peas which are too fibrous. The stems and leaves of the young plant are edible, too.
Like all peas, snow peas are a cool season crop and are best planted before the last frost, or even during the fall in some areas. Snow peas are vining and should be trellised in some fashion to grow. Unlike sugar snap peas or shelling peas, snow peas need to be snipped off with garden clippers as they are harder to pull from the vine.
Once picked, snow peas require some prep. There is a string that runs the length of the seam that should be removed to improve its eating quality. Snow peas can be eaten raw or cooked, and are great for stir fries and sauteed dishes.
Snow Peas Cultivars
- Avalanche – best harvested at 3″, this type produces lots of tendrils that are used for garnish. 36″ vine length. 60 days to maturity.
- Royal Snow – Specialty purple pods, best harvested at 3″. Quickly cook these to keep the purple color. 30″ vine length. 61 days to maturity.
- Golden Sweet – Specialty Golden pods, best harvested at 3″. 6 foot vines need to be trellised. 61 days to maturity.
- Green Beauty – large 5″ pods, these are larger than other varieties. 6-8 foot vines need to be trellised. 60 days to maturity.
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Image of snow peas by David Jackmanson via Creative Commons 2.0 license.