Snow peas (Pisum sativum var. saccharatum) are annual vegetables in the pea family. They grow as tall, twining vines that produce white (or sometimes pink or purple flowers) followed by large, flat green peas.

Snow peas are sweet and are eaten whole before the peas inside the green pod mature. Their sweetness and rapid growth make them highly appealing to children even those who may be reluctant to eat other green vegetables.

Grow snow peas in pots if space is limited. They are easy to grow given the right conditions and will reward you with an abundance crop within 10 weeks of planting. If space is limited look for dwarf varieties.

Snow peas are rich in protein, vitamin C, iron, niacin and zinc and have plenty of dietary fibre. They can be eaten raw straight from the garden or put into salads. They are also ideal taken inside and steamed or put into stir-fries or stews.

Follow our seven easy steps to successful snow pea harvest including tips along the way.


When to plant

Snow peas grow best through the cooler months of the year but can be planted well into spring for an early summer harvest. Check with your local hardware or garden centres for varieties to suit your location.

  1. In cooler zones, they can be grown almost year-round after the frost is gone. To keep a steady supply of snow peas, make several sowings through autumn, winter and early spring.
  2. In subtropical regions, snow peas can be planted from April to July, however, if temperatures reach above 30℃ they may have reduced flowering and yield.
  3. In tropical regions, it’s not possible to grow snow peas successfully as they hate heat.


  • Snow peas grow best in full sun or with light afternoon summer shade in hotter climates to reduce plant stress.
  • They prefer soil that holds moisture well. If the soil is not great plant into raised garden beds or consider a pot.
  • Snow peas will need something for them to climb up as a support.  A fence with some wire or trellis is ideal.


Get the soil right to harvest a bumper crop of snow peas. They can add nitrogen to the soil and can be followed in crop rotation with leafy vegetables.

Follow our steps for easy soil preparation.

  • Snow peas tolerate a wide range of soils but grow best in enriched, well-drained soil. Soils that are highly acidic benefit from the addition of lime.
  • Dig in extra well-rotted organic matter such as compost, well-rotted manure and/or Seasol Super Compost to a depth of 30cm before planting.
  • A soil rich in nutrients helps build strong plants, so add Seasol Plant + Soil Booster (100g per square metre) and a fertiliser such as PowerFeed Controlled Release for Tomatoes & Vegetables.
  • Water in well and let the soil rest for a week or two.
Soil & Potting Mix
Follow our seven easy tips on changing from a winter to spring vegie patch including soil prep, what to plant and how to look after them.

Step 1 – Sowing seeds.

  • Seeds can be sown directly into the ground or seed trays and later transferred.
  • In the soil, sow single seeds beside a trellis or tripod.
  • Sow seeds at 25mm deep and lightly cover. Space seeds around 3-5cm apart.
  • Water in well with a Seasol or Seasol GOLD as it helps increase seed germination rates. Keep soil moist but not wet.

Step 2 – Germination

  • Expect germination in 7-10 days (although it may be slower in very hot or cold conditions). Use a heating pad indoors for faster germination times.
  • Watch for the tiny leaves to come through the soil.
  • Check soil moisture daily, but don’t overwater. Apply Seasol or Seasol GOLD weekly for strong healthy root development and healthy growth.
  • Protect from snails and slugs especially while shoots are emerging.

Step 3 – Baby snow pea plants

  • Thin out weaker seedlings so they are not competing for space and nutrients.
  • Keep young snow pea seedlings moist as inadequate watering can lead to poor plant formation.
  • Snow pea seedlings need a lot of nutrients to produce a sweet crop so liquid feed with PowerFeed PRO SERIES for Tomatoes & Vegetables. Mix  20mL of concentrate per 9 litres of water (standard watering can) and increase to 50mL of concentrate as plants develop and mature.

Step 4 – Planting out snow pea seedlings

  • If growing from seed planted into punnets, transplant when the seedlings are around 5cm high and space 3 to 5 cms apart.
  • If transplanting purchased seedling, plant in the same way as above, following the directions on the plant tag.
  • Place support such as trellis or frames for young snow peas to climb on. Snow peas climb using shoots called tendrils that they use to wrap around anything they come into contact with. Insert short twigs besides seedlings to help guide them towards their frames.
  • Continue to apply Seasol regularly every week to the young seedlings to get them over the transplant shock.

Step 5 – Snow pea plant growth

  • Watch as snow peas start to grow and wrap themselves around their supports. Ensure there is enough support such as wire for the snow peas to hold onto.
  • Keep developing plants hand weeded or hoed and well-watered for active growth.
  • Apply organic mulch such as lucerne, sugar cane mulch or pea straw around each plant suppresses weeds and helps retain soil moisture.
  • Apply PowerFeed PRO SERIES for Tomatoes & Vegetables every 2 to 4 weeks for improved growth,  flowering and formation of pods.

Step 6 – Snow pea flowers

  • Peas are produced from flowers, so watch as the flowers turn into young peas as they grow downwards on the plant.
  • Flowers will start to appear around 8 weeks after planting depending on sun and temperature.
  • Every 6-8 weeks apply another application of PowerFeed Controlled Release Tomatoes & Vegetables to produce a bumper crop.
  • Ensure the snow pea plants are well supported via trellis or frame as plants will increase in weight as young pods are produced.

Step 7 – Snow pea harvest

  • Snow peas can be harvested about 8 weeks after sowing if plants are growing strongly. With good care, plants will grow for many weeks.
  • Once flowering begins, pods form quickly and should be harvested regularly.
  • Pick when the pods are young, tender and flat. Once peas inside the pods begin to swell, they can become a bit tough and bitter.
  • Pods that are missed will form peas that can be podded and eaten as normal podded peas.

Things to watch for….

Snow peas are generally a fast, trouble-free crop, however, they can be affected by the following:

  • Cold or frosty conditions may delay flowering and pod formation. As the weather warms or at the end of their growth cycle, snow peas may be attacked by powdery mildew.
  • Lack of germination can be due to seeds being stolen by ants or eaten by birds. Replant. Use mesh or a cover to keep birds away.
  • Damping off is a fungal disease that kills seedlings as they germinate. Check drainage, hold off watering until plants germinate, replant in a different area or use seedlings.
  • Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that is caused by poor air circulation or wet or humid conditions. To prevent this disease ensure plant growth with good air circulation by removing excess plants at planting time.
  • Cutworms are the larvae of click beetles and live in the soil. They cut off peas and other seedlings at their base. Protect seedlings with a cardboard tube sunk into the ground to surround the seedling. Remove when the seedling has hardened up and before it has reached its climbing frame.
  • Aphids attack foliage. Squash or hose off infestations.