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Old October 13, 2013   #1
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: SW Pennsylvania, zone 6a
Posts: 131
Default My experience with dwarf snap peas

First off I wanted to Thank everyone who helped me out with the snap pea advice. I wanted to let everyone know how things went this season.

My problem with mice or voles or whatever was helped greatly by using treated seed and the organic seeds I soaked in ground hot pepper and rosemary and poured the water that the peas soaked in on top of the seeds after they were planted. You may want to put this mixture outside when it is soaking because it really smells.

I had problems with birds eating my seeds so I tied up strips of mylar and that seemed to help a lot, but the birds only seem to eat a portion of the 25% where as the mice eat ALL of them. The birds were not deterred at all from eating the seeds even the ones coated with fungicide....even the day after they were planted!

I planted 3 dwarf snap pea varieties, they were Sugar Lace, Sugar Sprint and Cascadia. All three produced good peas and grew well.

Cascadia grew the tallest at over 4 feet for some of the vines, it produced the best quality peas IMO and it was the latest to produce the peas. I was surprised at how big the vines got I thought they would be a lot smaller.

Sugar Lace 2 has the most incredible tendrils of any pea I have ever grown they are like an octopus. It stuck to the trellis perfect. I wish Sugar Snap had tendrils like this! I was happy I grew this variety just to see these tendrils.

Sugar Sprint was the earliest and the heaviest producer. The vines were short. The tallest being about 24-30 inches. The pea pods were pretty small.

All three varieties are good but I decided to go back to Sugar Snap next season. I built some more trellises to add more support making like a cage for the Sugar Snaps.

For me the biggest detractions were that I had to bend over the whole time to pick them and other than Sugar Lace 2 they did not stick to the trellis very well. So that made it even worse because some of the peas were less than a foot off the ground. The pea pods were much smaller than Sugar Snap but Cascadia were closer in size to Sugar Snap than the other two varieties. And the overall yield was way less than Sugar Snap for the amount of seed and space used.

But if you do not want to build supports for the huge Sugar Snap vines and don't mind that the peas require a lot of bending to harvest you may love these varieties. They all produced nice peas and grew well.

So I'm back to Sugar Snaps for next season. But I'm glad I tried the dwarf varieties...I love to grow things and this was fun.

Thanks for all the help everyone!

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Old October 14, 2013   #2
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: California Central Valley
Posts: 2,449

I missed the window for planting fall snap peas and snow peas again. My neighbor at the community garden planted them on August 1 and is already harvesting. I intended to plant mine soon after, but didn't find the time and didn't have space in the garden until now. I did plant a few seeds in the ground and in containers, but I used old seed, so germination was low. The ones in the ground did much better, however, and I have a few 3-inch sprouts so far.
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Old October 14, 2013   #3
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Laurinburg, North Carolina, zone 7
Posts: 3,155

What is the benefit of planting the dwarf varieties over the regular or large sized peas? I've always planted tall peas such as telegraph, figuring that trellising gives me more peas in a smaller space. Is there a reason to plant the dwarfs?
I would like to try a bunch of different varieties but am mainly concerned with good flavor and lots of production. I need to learn to be better at planting every few weeks,instead of planting everything all at once. We always seem to get hit with too many peas at once, then it gets hot and they all bolt.

Last edited by Tracydr; October 14, 2013 at 05:49 PM.
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Old October 14, 2013   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Virginia Beach
Posts: 2,637

I think the main advantage, if you consider it one, is you can pick more at once. If you plan to can or freeze any vegetable, you can almost always pick more at one picking if you grow a bush or dwarf type. If you prefer to eat fresh and like to spread your harvest out, you can grow the tall varieties. I believe that over the course of a full season, your total harvest will be bigger with the tall varieties though, whether it's peas, tomatoes, whatever. It might be a headache or a bigger expense for some to use taller supports, as well, so they may prefer the shorter plants.
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Old October 15, 2013   #5
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Location: MA
Posts: 4,630


Since you're set on Sugar Snap next year, perhaps you can trial Super Sugar Snap. They are very similar to Sugar Snap, with Super Sugar Snap being about one week earlier, giving you that extra week of harvest.

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Old October 19, 2013   #6
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: SW Pennsylvania, zone 6a
Posts: 131

Thanks Habitat Gardener, Tracydr, Shellybean and Tormato

My main reason for growing the dwarf varieties was I had so much trouble with the 6 foot tall Sugar Snaps blowing over. I never tried the dwarf varieties so I thought I would try them and see how they did. But some of the dwarf varieties fell off the trellis also but not the Sugar Lace 2 they were great for clinging to a trellis.


I might give the Super Sugar Snaps a try. Is there a good seed source you can recommend?
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Old October 22, 2013   #7
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 293

Originally Posted by Tracydr View Post
What is the benefit of planting the dwarf varieties over the regular or large sized peas?
The dwarf varieties tend to have a shorter DTM. I have had great luck with "Sugar Lace II" planted in mid-summer, for Fall harvest. They were planted over the July 4th weekend this year, and I picked the last of them a few days ago. I prefer to use the taller varieties for Spring planting, to take full advantage of their longer bearing period.
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Old December 27, 2016   #8
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Colorado
Posts: 131

I will have to look into Sugar Lace 2. I was reading yesterday on the JIC site that the dwarf pea trait may be linked genetically with one of the coveted fibre-less genes coveted by good snap pea. Therefore it's possible that dwarf snaps may taste better or have less fiber than tall snap peas. Anyone experience this?

Nice to know Sugar Lace 2 is a hyper-tendril or semi-leafless pea variety and is dwarf.
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