Dr. Joe Masabni
Department of Horticulture
Texas AgriLife Extension Service
Pods of snow peas are flat and thin with the bulge of tiny seed barely visible at prime eating stage. The bright green pods should be turgid and crisp. They contain five to seven seeds and reach a length of 2 to 3 inches. Pods of sugar snaps are plump like regular English peas but are sweet and tender, and are thus eaten whole, without being shelled, raw or cooked. The vigorous growing vine is a legume.
Plant 6 to 8 weeks before the last expected spring killing frost. Peas grow best in well-drained sandy soil. Plant seed in single rows about 1 inch deep with seed spaced about 5 inches apart. Trellis the plants to support the vines and keep pods from touching the soil. Maintain good soil moisture during bloom, pod set and pod fill for tenderest, sweetest pods.
Purchase smooth, thin, crisp pods of snow peas with little or no seed enlargement. Fresh pods are turgid and shiny, not wilted. Sugar snap pods are best when crisp, tender and plump but with little or no string along the suture (top of pod leading to the little point). Wilted or tough pods are not sweet and crisp inside. Edible podded peas can be stored for up to 2 weeks in refrigeration at 40°F. Wash, drain and place pods in plastic bags before refrigerating.