Easter weekend is a reminder that it is time to hide some precious egg shaped gems in the garden – I’m talking about sugar snap peas of course! 

pea pod

I was in New Orleans, Louisiana last week and got a sneak peak of the garden delicacies to come in just a few weeks’ time from now. One of my favorite dishes was served at a restaurant called Kenton’s located in Uptown. Their seasonal menu featured a bed of herbed goat cheese topped with cucumber slices and whole sugar snap peas garnished with pea shoots – yummy!  Enjoying this dish was the perfect reminder to plant sugar snap peas in my garden this weekend – what a great tradition to start with my family!

snap pea

Sugar snap peas are very simple to grow; basically you plant hydrated peas 1-2 inches deep in the soil as soon your garden soil is workable in the spring. I like to soak peas in water for 24 hours and they will become plump if they are viable.

peas in mason jar

As soon as the soil temperature warms the pea plants will germinate. Remember, plants form vines so you may want to offer some vertical trellising for them to climb. Sugar snap peas are legumes so, as an added bonus, pea plants fix nitrogen at their roots. In this sense, they can also be utilized as a green manure crop. Since pea seed is relatively inexpensive to buy in bulk, they are a wonderful addition to your crop rotation sequence.

peas please

Enjoy immature pods like snow peas, eat young mature pods whole, or harvest pea shoots and enjoy as a garnish to a salad or on top of deviled Easter eggs or a bed of herbed goat cheese – yum!  For more information on growing sugar snap peas, read our Peas in the Garden factsheet and for recommended varieties of peas and other garden plants, check out Recommended Vegetable Varieties for Northern Utah.  Enjoy hiding peas in your garden this weekend and don’t forget to tell your friends and co-workers on Monday that you were the first to plant peas in your garden this year – oh snap!