snow pea trellis

archernut(5)April 21, 2008

This is the first year I have planted snow peas. The seed packages say to support them with a trellis between the rows. They are just now germinating and I am wondering how high these plants get and how high I should build a trellis for them. I was thinking of using some older woven wire fence.

Any suggestions?

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How tall they will grow will depend upon the variety -- they range from short, bushy kinds that only get 16 to 20 inches tall, to the 6 foot monsters like "Super Sugar Snap"

Really, they aren't fussy, as long it is something their tendrils will cling to. I have a lot of bamboo in my yard which top-kills most winters, and I use the smaller, thinner canes which are too thin for good bean poles, etc., as "pea brush," triming it to about 5 feet tall for climbing kinds, and about 2 1/2 feet tall for the shorter varieties. I stick canes down the length of my row about every 4 to 6 inches. It makes a nice, green solid wall of peas by late June, and makes the harvest much easier. When the season is over, I pull the whole mess, canes and old pea vines out, throw it on the lawn, and grind it up with my mower and use it for mulch -- excellent source of nitrogen.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 10:04PM
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I now grow only dwarf varieties because of the daunting task of supporting regular pea vines. If you did not plant dwarf types, then believe me, you should be ready with at least 6 feet of good support all along the row. For my dwarf peas I just use tomato cages and folding fences and the like, and that suffices. Much easier.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 10:08PM
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Belgianpup(Wa/Zone 7b)

The times that I have grown them, they've gotten about 4ft tall --- tall enough to be a nuisance when they flop over, but almost not tall enough to trellis. They 'hold hands' like bush peas, then all fall over together in the first stiff breeze if they're not held up with something. Specifically, mine were Mammoth Melting Sugar Snow Peas.

My package only says they are "semi-dwarf", which can mean many things to many people. I wish they would be more specific. Kind of makes a person wonder if the seed vendor doesn't know his seeds...


    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 10:10PM
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I grow the tall ones on a horizontal cattle panel and they grow over the top then just connect to each other and hang down a little.

I googled Mammoth Melting Sugar Snow Peas and it said they would grow up to five feet.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 10:33PM
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Thank you.
I will put the woven wire fence up with a couple t post in the middle. I wasn't really expecting a big plant.
I planted two 30' rows with about 16" between them. I have a feeling I will have alot of snow peas.

I better move the tomatos now. lol

    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 5:49PM
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larry_c(z6 Stl. Mo.)

I use a 30" high fence twix posts...BEWARE OF DA RASCALLY WABBITS...CALL ELMER...

They just love to eat my snow peas to the the whole plot is surronded by chicken wire :)

Funny story..the first year we put up wire it was only 2 foot tall. We looked out back one day to see 4 rabbits happily eating on our 2 foot tall plants..yes they kumped the taller chicken wire.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 8:51PM
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I use the nylon net deer fence. It's cheap, light and holds up well. Mine has been up 4 years and is still fine. I don't even take it in for the winter. I've grown several varieties, including the Mammoth Melting Snow Peas, and it's been tall enough for all of them.
John A

    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 10:02PM
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grandad_2003(9A/sunset 28)

I use concrete remesh shaped as an upside down V.

Side view of trellis on far right of photo below

Front view

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 12:27PM
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grandad. I always like you pics.

Do you plant your peas inside the inverted "V"?? By the pic I looks like the top of the row is centered in the V. Does this make reaching in to harvest a chore. I like that idea. I was going to use the mesh with some t posts anbd let them climb. Do you need to support the V's with anything?? I know they are rather stiff.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 2:06PM
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grandad_2003(9A/sunset 28)

BillinPA, first off thanks for the pics compliment!!

Regarding your questions, I do plant on the rows which are inside of the upside down V. Plants can choose which directions they prefer to head for support.. sometimes I may "influence" the decision. The 6 in square spacing in the remesh allows for easy access, I don't generally have difficulty picking the fruit, although I do need to gain access from both sides of the structure.

On the support question - When the base is wide (about 3 ft) I find that the upside down V's are self-supporting, as the center of gravity is low. In the cases where I move the base closer together (like in the picture above), I do need to add support so that the structure won't be blown over by wind. In this case the center of gravity is a bit higher. It doesn't take much to hold it in place and most anything works OK - wood stakes, metal, bamboo, rebar, etc.

The trellis on the left in the top pic is the cucumber trellis. Cukes will be planted on the rows inside of the V.(Actually, I'm about half planted now in my with my staggered planting). It has 3 upside-down V's with an overhead canopy. I only last year added the canopy because the plants would reach the top of the V and had no where to go. The canopy idea turned out to be a wonderful addition to the trellis. Access to the cukes in the middle can be a just a tad difficult if the cuke is in the absolute middle. When this happens, I have to lean into the structure and sometime hold on to it at the same time.

The use of the V's was actually a second thought. I had purchased the remesh to make tomato cages. Each cage uses 5.5 ft of wire and makes a 19 inch diameter cylinder. When I reached the point where I had enough cages I stopped. At this point I had a pretty good lenght of remesh left. So I decided that I would try using the remaining pieces as upside down V's. They've worked great. I have 4 of these and they range in height from about 5 to 6 feet when placed upsidedown in the garden.

The only issue with remesh (cages or V's)is in having a place to keep it. It's not like you can put this stuff in a storage room... And the more you have, the more space you need to keep it.

Thanks again for the positive comments on the pics..I try to add these to the mix when helpful.. As they say "a picture is worth a 1000 words".. (So now afer reading my response, it looks like I've done both..)

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 2:39PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions. The wwf is set and ready. The peas are about 2 inches tall and waiting on warmer temps to start growing. It is only 48 degrees today with frost warnings for tonight. Gosh I wish it would warm up.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 4:49PM
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