Ask a Question forum: Putting up sugar snap peas

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Name: Ann
East Texas
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metmat
Apr 25, 2014 9:06 PM CST
This year, my husband and I are growing sugar snap peas for the first time! We are unsure of the best way to prepare them for the freezer. Is it best to blanch, chill, and freeze?
Thank you! Ann
Name: joseph wittenberg
high desert (Zone 8b)
Permaculture Region: California
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grizzlyjoe
Apr 26, 2014 10:42 AM CST
Are you planning on keeping them in the shell or removing them?
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Apr 26, 2014 11:05 AM CST

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We always put them in boiling water for about 2 minutes, then immediately transferred them into a bowl of ice water and let them completely cool. Then spread them out on a cookie sheet and put into the freezer until they are frozen solid. Then we transfer them into gallon freezer bags.
Name: cheshirekat
New Mexico, USA Zone 8 (Zone 8a)
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ckatNM
Apr 26, 2014 3:20 PM CST
I too am growing sugar snap peas for the first time. I don't think I have ever eaten them garden fresh, so I am looking forward to it. I also intend to plant a few more in autumn - hopefully enough to freeze some. How long will they keep in the freezer in the freezer bags? They are supposed to be cold hardy, but they seem to be growing a bit slowly to me. Will they get a growth spurt after a certain size? How do you know when to harvest, and when the vines are done for the season? I think this is one of the plants I will have to plant the winter crop in containers closer to the house so I can keep them covered and maybe grow them into November and December. Growing in containers will allow time to add fertilizer, fresh garden soil, and manure to the soil where a few vines are now growing. Then that area will be ready to plant again next February.

I put straw around them to help keep their roots warm. It hasn't been very cold, but I recall the seed packet said they have shallow roots. As you can see in this photo, the neighbor has a lot of weeds on his side of the fence, which I hope the straw will keep out a bit. (Which is a bit of a bummer because I would have liked to grow some in hanging pots, so the peas hang down, but didn't think the shallow roots would support the vines.)
Thumb of 2014-04-26/ckatNM/9c5e90

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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Apr 26, 2014 4:03 PM CST
I'd just about bet that if you planted them in hanging pots, the plants would climb whatever you had used to hang them! You know, you could try putting a bit of bird netting around the top part of your hanging pot to give them a bit more support, on the off chance that they would hang down. Which has nothing to do with preserving them, I know. But it's an interesting idea. Smiling Oh, unless you were thinking about doing the upside down thing like some people do with tomatoes.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
Apr 28, 2014 5:04 PM CST
>> How do you know when to harvest,

Harvest continuously. Definitely you should keep the plants well-picked so that more pods will form. If you like small amounts of very tender gourmet pea pods, pick them small.

Most people say to pick each pod before it gets "too large", on the theory that they are more tender and sweeter when less than full size. I don't know, I also like them fairly large: big crunchy pods that are still sweet, with the peas big enough to make the pods a little "bumpy".

>> and when the vines are done for the season?

Eventually my vines turn yellow or brown and/or get white stuff on them (?mildew?). I'm sure that is "past their prime".

My summers are so mild that I don't think they are responding to heat stress, just old age. I assume that the climate in New Mexico will dictate the end of Spring peas when you get a few hot days. Do you have a long fall, or does frost follow summer heat quickly? maybe a Fall crop of snow peas will give you a longer window.

I've never had enough snap pea or snow pea plants that I could freeze any pods or even save a mess for diner. I always ate them as I picked them, or brought a few handfuls to work to eat fresh.
Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
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daylily
May 6, 2014 10:25 AM CST
dave said:We always put them in boiling water for about 2 minutes, then immediately transferred them into a bowl of ice water and let them completely cool. Then spread them out on a cookie sheet and put into the freezer until they are frozen solid. Then we transfer them into gallon freezer bags.


This is the method I use -- except that after I take them out of the ice water, I pat them dry before putting on trays in the freezer.

While they are always best eaten raw standing in the garden… Whistling I do use them in stir fry etc. after freezing.
Name: cheshirekat
New Mexico, USA Zone 8 (Zone 8a)
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ckatNM
May 7, 2014 5:23 PM CST
I think I only planted 5 or 6 plants of snow peas, so I guess I probably won't have enough to freeze. I plan to pick them often to eat them with salads. I might stir-fry if I lived somewhere different, but here, the kitchen just gets too hot, so I won't fry anything. I use the crock pot a lot, outside, and the bbq grill. Otherwise the heat in the house wipes me out for a few days.

I had planned to plant only a couple snow pea plants for the late fall and winter growing seasons. But I don't know yet whether or not I will. It is still one day at a time and trying to be thankful I can have a garden at all.
"A garden is a friend you can visit any time." - Anonymous
Name: Taqiyyah
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Container Gardener Winter Sowing Plant and/or Seed Trader Roses Salvias Seed Starter
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lovesblooms
May 8, 2014 8:47 AM CST
I also mistakenly planted one row of sugar snap peas last year. They were wonderful eaten raw in the garden, but I ended up pulling them early so I could plant beans in their spot. This year I'm planting way more to enjoy, in the melon, tomato, and squash rows so they can add nitrogen to the soil for those plants when I put them in probably around the end of this month. I hope it works out that way, anyway. Anybody else done this?
Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
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KentPfeiffer
May 8, 2014 8:57 AM CST

Plants Admin

They generally don't do well in hot weather. But, please let us know if it works.

Snap peas are one of my favorites, but we only have them for a few weeks in the spring and, if we're really lucky, a few weeks in the fall. If you hit upon a way to get a pea crop in the summer, I'd love to hear about it.
Name: Taqiyyah
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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lovesblooms
May 8, 2014 12:46 PM CST
I just mean to let them decline and return the nitogen to the soil as I grow the melons and things in their places. They've been in since either March or late February. Right now they're growing pretty slow, so hope to get a decent crop before we start hitting the 90s here. So far it's been a cool spring....
Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Plant Identifier Region: Nebraska Forum moderator
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KentPfeiffer
May 8, 2014 1:02 PM CST

Plants Admin

Oh, sure, we always leave the vines in place and plant summer crops around them. Not sure how much good it does, but it certainly doesn't hurt.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
May 8, 2014 1:08 PM CST
Kent said:
>> If you hit upon a way to get a pea crop in the summer, I'd love to hear about it.

If you're willing to give up on growing heat-loving crops, move somewhere with very cool summers!
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
May 8, 2014 2:33 PM CST
Empty out the ice cube tray around them? Hilarious!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.

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