Nothing is better from the garden than fresh peas. It's that time of year again to begin to start planning for the upcoming garden season here in southeast Michigan. This year I am going to try growing Oregon Giant Snow Peas. I grew Dwarf Grey Sugar Snow Peas last year, and while they produced pretty pink flowers, the snow peas themselves weren't all that great. When it come to growing vegetables, I want something that is going to taste good, first and foremost. I have heard of Oregon Giant Snow Peas before, so I thought I would give them a try.
When to Plant
Planting peas on St. Patrick's Day is encouraged by some garden experts. Peas like growing in cool weather, but you soil has to still be workable and warm enough for the peas to germinate. It has been a ridiculously mild winter here, so I am shooting for the St. Patty's start date this time around. The latest I would plant them in my area would be mid-April. You can also plant them in the end of summer for a fall harvest, but I have found that they never do as well as in the spring time.
Should I Soak the Seeds
This is a hotly debated issue. Some people soak, some don't. The point of soaking would be to help the seeds germinate faster. The last thing you want is to plant some seeds and have them just rot in the ground. If you are concerned your soil might not be as warm as you would like it, then go right ahead and soak, but only for 12-24 hours.
Do I Need a Trellis for These Peas?
The pea pod of this variety are giant, not the plants. They grow to about 2-3 feet tall. So while you could go without giving them any support, I would still give them some. I think the plants do better when supported and they are also easier to harvest.
Can I Start the Seeds Indoors?
I don't think it's really necessarily. Plants can be difficult to start indoors. If you don't do it just right they become leggy. I would just directly sow them into the ground.
I am aiming to plant my peas on March 17th. The upcoming forecast calls for several days where the temps don't even go below freezing, so I am thinking I can plant early this year. It's a 70 day harvest period. So right around the start of June I should be harvesting my first peas.