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How To Grow Sugar Snap Peas In Early Spring

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Peas are one of my favourite things to grow myself because when picked fresh, the taste is so far removed from what you are used to. It is like they are a completely different vegetable. And sugar snap peas take that even further by adding extra sweetness to the mix.

And one more great thing about peas – you can start sowing them very early in the year. So, let’s find out how to grow this sweet delight in early spring!

Sowing in the ground vs undercover

Peas can be sown directly into the ground, even in early spring. I don’t do this, however, as I get much better results when sowing under cover and then transplanting.

If you do want to sow your peas directly, then the method is simple enough. Dig a shallow trench, roughly 3-5cm deep, pop your seeds in and then cover them back up with soil.

Peas can be sown in a shallow trench
Peas can be sown in a shallow trench

If sowing undercover (greenhouse, polytunnel, etc.), you have a few options. You can use a regular old module tray and sow a few seeds per pot, or one popular method is recycling old toilet roll tubes and using them to sow your seeds.

This is because the tube length allows the roots of your pea plants to grow nice and deep. And when it comes time to transplant the peas, you can put the whole tube in the soil, and it will rot away.

Old toilet roll tubes also make great starters
Old toilet roll tubes also make great starters.

My favourite method, however, is to use a length of old guttering. Sow your peas in the gutter and leave them in a greenhouse or polytunnel. When it is time to transplant, you slide the soil and peas out of the gutter and into a trench.

Watch the video below by Huw Richards to learn more about this method.

When To Sow

Peas are cold hardy plants and can even take a little frost. But that doesn’t mean you want to sow them too early; most people will start sowing sugar snap peas undercover in March.

When sowing peas, one of the best things to do is succession sowing, so keep sowing a new batch every few weeks. If you have the space for all of those pea plants, then this will provide an ongoing harvest, as pea plants can be very short-lived.


Peas are climbers, and as such they need some sort of support structure to climb up. What you need to build depends on the pea variety you are growing.

Different varieties have different growth heights; some only grow 50-60cm tall, whereas others can grow to over 2m tall!

A string suspended from a timber frame is a great way of growing taller peas. If your peas are dwarf ones, then just sticking some sticks and branches into the soil can often provide more than enough support.

What Variety To Grow?

I like to grow Delikett. These are smaller sugar snap peas, so they don’t need lots of support, but they are an RHS garden merit award winner.

They taste super sweet and are a really reliable pea to grow. You can find them at Premier Seeds Direct by following this link if you are interested:

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