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Peas in earth; good fill for then
Snow business like snow pea business:
Just because there’s a little snow on the roof, doesn’t mean there’s no sweetness in the kitchen! While snow peas are so named because their light green pods look as though they have been sprinkled with frost, the peas within (and their pods) are sweet to taste.
From the legume family, snow peas are available in a number of varieties including Oregon Sugar Pod – which has a high tolerance to disease, and Dwarf Sugar – which matures early.
When, where and how to plant:
Ideally planted between April and October, depending on the region, snow peas thrive during the cooler months, in soil temperatures ranging from eight to 20 degrees Celsius.
Although they can survive a month of sunny-days, they respond best to more moderate temperatures and less intense sunshine.
Sow seeds approximately 10cm apart and at a depth roughly three times the diameter of the seed.
These peas aren’t picky about soil quality, but they do require a free-draining spot.
A little fertiliser can be applied when planting, however, as legumes, snow peas actually produce their own fertiliser, adding nutrients to the soil.
Snow peas will only get by with a little help from their friends and can use a little support. Use branches, trellises, fences, netting or posts and strings to train them until their tendrils become established.
While queues tend to take care of themselves, it’s always important to mind your peas!
That said, snow peas require only a little attention. Water as needed to keep the soil moist, but be careful not to over water. Too much water and snow peas will suffer from root rot.
Also, once the peas have become established, use netting to keep those birds at bay.
Harvest & use:
Similar (dare I say as two peas in a... no, I’ll resist the temptation!) to ‘garden-variety’ peas, snow peas are known for their softer, more tender pods. However, they are tastiest when picked before the pods toughen. Pick a pea or two when pods reach roughly 7-8cms in length.
Ideal in stir-fries, or eaten straight from the garden, snow peas should be used soon after harvest or they will quickly lose their sweetness.
As they’re usually ready for harvest within two to four months, planted now, snow peas will be ready to go from pod to pot, then savoured in pea and ham soup by the fire; what a way to warm up winter!