With the right pea varieties, you can harvest fresh garden peas for months. You can plant them in late winter and early spring or midsummer and continue harvesting until fall. There are also ever-bearing varieties that produce a small crop of peas in early summer and then again in fall.
Here are some of Best Garden Pea Varieties for Your Region
Sugar Ann Snap Peas
Sugar Ann snap peas are dark green in color, about 4-5 inches in length, and contain very few strings. They grow to about 12″ tall and require trellising or support. Sugar Ann peas should be picked when they are 7-9″ long by snapping the stem just above where it emerges from the soil.The vines can get up to 10′ long so this variety isn’t suited for smaller gardens. Sugar Ann snap peas mature in 55 days.
Little Marvel Peas
Little Marvel is a bright green pea with small seeds and solid pods that hold their shape well after harvest. This pea grows to 6-7″ tall and has a bush habit of growth rather than trailing like pole varieties. Little Marvel plants grow in strong and sturdy vines and usually need support. It takes 60 days for this pea to mature.
Oregon Sugar Pod II Peas
Oregon Sugar Pod II peas are a cold-tolerant variety that produces lots of small pods with 8-9 seeds per pod. They produce up until the first frost, which makes them good for late summer planting in some climates. The vines can get up to 6′ long so they may be better suited for trellising or other forms of support. These peas also prefer well-drained soil and warmer weather conditions (at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit). You should harvest these when the pods are 4″ long and fairly fat, before the seeds start to harden. Oregon Sugar Pod II peas usually mature in 50 days.
Green Arrow Peas
Green Arrow is an early maturing variety that produces long, stringless pods filled with small seeds. Although the plants’ vines only grow to 4-5′ tall, they can be difficult to support because of their floppy nature. This pea takes 55-60 days to mature and grows best when daytime temperatures are between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mammoth Melting Sugar Peas
Mammoth Melting Sugar is an old heirloom variety of garden pea that was first introduced by Burpee Seeds way back in 1925! The pods on these peas contain a high sugar content which results in a sweet fruity flavor. They are also very large, growing up to 10″ long! Mammoth Melting Sugar peas are vigorous plants that grow 6-7′ tall, but they are fairly easy to support because of their bush habit. The vines produce lots of leaves and leaf cover is important for preventing weeds from competing with the plants early in the season. These peas take about 60 days to mature.
Cascadia Snap Peas (Also known as Oregon Giant)
Cascadia snap peas can be harvested when they’re young or you can let them grow larger and harvest them as shelling peas instead. Cascadia produces fat 4″ pods on strong vines that can get up to 7′ tall. Harvest strings and other blemishes before cooking.These peas are best eaten when they are young and tender, so pick them every couple of days! Cascadia snap peas usually take about 50-55 days to mature.
Sugar Bon Snap Peas
Sugar Bon snap peas produce long green pods that stay tender even after being picked. The fat pods grow up to 5″ long with big tasty seeds inside. Sugar Bon peas have good resistance to powdery mildew but only average tolerance to cold weather, making them great for spring planting in some climates. This variety has very few strings compared to other snap peas which means less work during harvest time.
There you have it. The list above contains some of the most common snap peas available in home garden catalogs. You should be able to find a variety on this list that is suited for your climate and tastes. If you enjoyed these tips, please feel free to share them with your family and friends . Happy planting.