Sugar Snap Peas - Germination

eric30April 9, 2009

Last year I planted peas in containers on the patio during spring. It was mid April which is supposed to be the right time for this area. About 3 weeks went by and I didn't get one sprout. I brought the containers inside to warm and BOOM! They all came up like gangbusters by the next morning.

So is this normal and what should I do about planting peas in the ground this year? Should I have to wait until the middle of May or longer just for them to sprout? I'm pretty sure they don't like transplanting. Will the ground be warmer than containers on a patio?

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Someone told me that they plant their peas in the ground on Good Friday every year, here in zone 5. But I have personally never tried growing peas.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 6:55AM
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I planted my peas about three weeks ago when we had a warm snap that let me prepare the soil. The first sprouts came up about a week ago. I think if I had soaked them overnight they would have come up sooner.

I've had problems in the past with squirrels digging them up. I sprinkled red pepper on the bed this year since they were digging anywhere I disturbed the soil (and in my pots.) They moved their digging elsewhere.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 7:49AM
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I planted my snap peas on St Patrick's day. I've got tons of little sprouts. I covered them with a row cover made from an old window sheer to keep the birds from eating the sprouts. I am planning a second crop for the fall. Nothing like fresh sugar snaps. Good luck to you! If I were you, I'd get them in the soil as soon as it is workable, but that's just me.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 9:20AM
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I planted sugar snaps & early dark seeded perfection peas directly outside on March 7th. One sugar snap sprouted early, in about 8 days - but most of them took more like 2.5 weeks. I thought they were all doing pretty well, since they all sprouted eventually, look healthy and are now about 3-4 inches tall.

So I just looked at a picture of the same dark-seeded early perfection peas I planted last fall (this is only the second time I've grown peas). At 33 days old, last year they were WAY bigger than the ones I have now. You can see pictures of them in the blog post linked below. The ones I have now are on the same trellis, but haven't even reached the bottom rung yet, whereas the ones in the pic from last year are above the second rung and already have a flower!

I have the sugar snaps on a bigger 6 foot tall trellis, but they haven't reached the bottom rung yet either.

I think they must just grow really slowly in the cold weather we've been having.

I planted them early because it gets so hot and humid here pretty quickly in June, and everything I read says that will kill peas. And if it takes 60 days for them to mature, that doesn't seem to leave enough time if I didn't plant them until April. So I'm kinda bummed. I was really looking forward to tasty peas! I really hope they grow faster once the weather warms up.

Next year I am going to try a little wire hoop house type row cover with Agribon fabric over them. I already ordered some this February, but it is still on backorder. :-(

Here is a link that might be useful: last falls' happy peas

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 3:22PM
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Karen Pease

Just put them out there; when they think it's ready, they'll come up. The worst thing you can do with sugar snap peas is wait too long; you won't get much of a crop, if any, before summer heat sets in.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 3:30PM
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Thanks for the info everybody. Last year was the first time I got a decent harvest. I ended up with about 2 quarts off of my small patio. That got me fired up to plant a lot of them this year, I have the 4 oz. sack from burpee ready to go. I was so sad when they were all gone. I hear they freeze well too. After reading I'll try and get them out tomorrow.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 9:53PM
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You will need to blanch your peas before putting in freezer containers, I use Ziploc bags. You don't have to wait til you have alot, just more than you want to eat at that time.

I found out, if the seeds get uncovered in the garden, they don't "do" anything, just lay there. So be sure that the seeds are covered by dirt. Learn from my mistake.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 7:47AM
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If you want to speed things up a bit, presprout your peas inside... put them in a damp coffee filter, inside a plastic bag, and set somewhere warm like the top of your refrigerator. As soon as they sprout a root, plant outside as usual.

I have almost 100% germination from my sugar snaps this year after using this method, while last year hardly any came up (and the ones that did, took forever!) It may just be because this time, they weren't sitting out there so long, unsprouted, for the squirrels and birds to unearth and eat!


    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 10:38AM
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I don't know if I've created a problem for myself or not: I soaked the peas in a container for a little more than the recommended 24 hours to encourage germination. Well, almost all of them started to sprout -- especially when I drained the water and let them dry off a bit. I didn't want them getting water-logged or rotten. Now I've got more than I can plant in one or two planting sessions. Will the sprouted peas stay like that for up to a week or so until I can plant them, will the little sprouts coming out of them die and make planting futile, or is there someway I can put them in "suspended animation" until I can plant them (by putting them in the fridge, maybe?)

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 7:03PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

No sorry but they will die when exposed to the air for any length of time. You can plant them in pots of potting mix and then transplant them later if you wish.

Normally, if you are going to pre-soak them then once soaked (and 24 hours is the maximum) you then take the container to the garden with you, drain them there and plant them immediately, not air dried.


    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 7:34PM
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