Sugar snap

socksMarch 20, 2012

I'm wondering if this is a good time to put in seeds for sugar snap peas in So. Ca.

Also--the package says they grow to 5'. Could I use upside down tomato cages for the trellises? Maybe put a tennis ball or something on the top wires for safety.

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Sounds awfully late for zone 9 IMO. Many in zone 5 and 6 already have them planted out but it all depends on your soil temps and how soon it will get too hot for them.

As for the cages, yes you can but they will not be tall enough alone. If upside down be sure to anchor them well in the ground against wind.


    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 1:46PM
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Belgianpup(Wa/Zone 7b)

You could try some, but they really prefer cool weather (and aren't afraid of light frosts), and they won't start producing until about the end of May. Diseases get them easily in warm weather with the explosion in aphids.

Personally, I would plant my main crop there in the fall, after the weather had cooled down, maybe November (I'm estimating for Los Angeles). If you're higher, you could plant earlier.

If those are the standard Sugar Snaps, mine have grown to 7', but you may have a shorter variety. I would use something taller than a tomato cage, or they'll all get into a tangle and flop over onto the ground. Any kind of sticks will do: bamboo, willow saplings, tree-trimming branches.

Mulching can be good, but (even w/o mulch) put some Sluggo, Worry-Free or any of the safer iron-phosphate-based snail baits under the mulch and around the bases of the plants,esp when they're young. Those vicious shelled piranhas LOVE young pea sprouts.

Sue, formerly of the San Gabriel Valley

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 1:47PM
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Hey, I'm a Sue in SGV too!!! (I know you are a "formerly".)

Thanks to you both for the info. I think I'll wait until fall and watch for some long sticks in make teepee trellises in the meantime. My garden is tiny, maybe only space for a few plants. I use Sluggo, and mulch.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 2:50PM
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Avocado101(9A Southern California)

You might want to read more about sluggo by googling. After reading much about it, I stopped using it in my garden.

For the peas, while they do grow in the winter, here in SoCal, you don't have to wait. You can just plant them now. You might be able to gain some harvest.

Instead of sluggo, I put down broken up egg shells in my garden to ward off slugs. Although I don't think it works as well as sluggo, but it does work.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 11:17PM
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I have searched for more information about Sluggo with no luck. Where were you reading? (Link would have been helpful.)

In my opinion, most people could not eat enough eggs to provide an adequate amount of shells for even a small garden. Might be helpful around specific plants which are slug magnets (like hosta).

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 10:39AM
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Belgianpup(Wa/Zone 7b)

SoCal is in a different world for seed-starting dates -- you can grow quite a lot of stuff all year long. I found a link that shows planting dates for many garden crops in your area: It says to start peas from Sept thru Feb. I would use the INTERIOR SoCal dates.

Avocado is referring to information similar to the link below.

After 12 years as a vet tech, assisting with SnailBait/Metaldehyde-poisoned dogs that were convulsing/stiff with paralyzed muscles/dying/dead, the iron-phosphate snail baits were a big relief.

NO, they're not perfect. NO, they're not totally benign. But they're a 'ell of a lot safer than the other crap!

The one thing that many Americans just don't seem to GET, is that they actually have to occasionally use both of their brain cells and THINK. Nothing is totally safe. Drinking too much water can kill you (hyponatremia). Mother's milk contains over 200 foreign chemicals these days.)

Many chemical farmers think if a 1% solution is good, a 10% solution is better, and many average Americans think the same way. That's why Monsanto created genetically-modifed corn (RoundUp Ready), so chemical farmers can spray NINE TIMES THE RECOMMENDED AMOUNT of RoundUp on the food crops when they're spraying weeds. FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS, DIPS!

For all the iron-phosphate-based snail/slug killers:

1) Spread very thinly, it doesn't take much. It attracts snails, they don't have to fall over it and die of suffocation.

2) Never put it down in piles. Any time a dog can lick up a pile of it, or a toddler can eat a handful, you've got Big Trouble! If a 2-yr-old drops an open Oreo on the ground and picks it up with two bits of Sluggo stuck to it and he eats it, nothing is going to happen.

I know that many people say they want things to be absolutely, positively safe, and that just ain't gonna happen! Use your head and nobody is likely to get hurt.


Here is a link that might be useful: Iron Phosphate - How dangerous...?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 1:13PM
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bejay9_10(zone 9/10)

I had a fairly nice patch of snow peas - unfortunately, the constant damp, rainy weather here along the coast, produced early mildew, and was only able to harvest a few batches.

The area that they occupied will be "beefed-up" with compost and in about a week or so, the pole beans will take their place. This has worked well for me in the past. I don't even remove the bamboo poles that I used for the peas, as beans will take over shortly. It seems that peas and beans produce a lot of their own nitrogen - so they say, which is probably the reason they don't mind replacing one another.

Just my 2 's.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 1:15PM
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