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Planting Sugar Snap Peas

This weekend I spent some time, actually very little time, planting seeds in my garden.  I think a lot of individuals get intimidated by the thought of gardening.  I am here to show you how easy it is to start your own garden.  In this post I am planting my peas in my 4’x4′ square foot garden, but these peas could easily be planted in a container.  You only need your soil to be 6 inches deep, yes that is right only 6 inches deep!  Most people think you need at least 12 inches of soil but that is untrue with most plants.  The majority of my produce (including large tomato plants) grow in only 6 inches of soil.  I do have 1 4’x4′ bed that I converted to 12 inches in depth and that was done for my carrots and potatoes.  Growing in only 6 inches of soil will save you a lot of money!


The first thing you want to do is read the back of your seed packet.  There is a lot of important information on these little packages.  Every package is different so be sure to read all the details on each package of seeds.   Make sure you are buying seeds from a good source and seeds that are not genetically modified.  Lets take a look at some important information on my packet of sugar snap peas.

Back Of The Seed Packet

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The first thing I want to point out on this package of seeds is that it is not recommended to start these seeds indoors.  This is important!  They will not transplant well into your garden and quite frankly, sugar snap peas grow super well planted right into your garden with almost no effort!  The next important piece of information I see is that you need to soak your pea seeds 12-24 hours before planting.  This is very important.  When you soak your seeds, this helps your seeds to germinate creating a healthy plant.  Another important bit of information is when to plant your seeds.  In this case, sugar snap peas are a cool weather crop and can tolerate cooler temperatures.  4 to 6 weeks before the last frost is when to plant your peas.  My average last frost here in Wisconsin is May 15, so I am about 7 weeks out and that is fine, because we have had an unusually warm winter and my soil is workable so it is a good time for me to plant.

The next thing I want you to look at is the information on the left of this seed packet.  As most of you know, I garden using Mel Bartholomew’s square foot gardening method.  If you have the time, head on over to Mel’s Square Foot Gardening Website, there is a lot of great information on there!  This method simplifies gardening significantly!  There are several key elements that you will need to figure out how many seeds to plant in a square.  You want to look at the thinning and seed spacing (I love this one, it is 2″ (yes 2″)!  That is a lot of seeds for 1 little square foot!  So that means you can plant a seed every 2 inches and there is 12 inches per square so that means you will need 6 seeds per row and 6 rows…that is 36 seeds per square foot.  You do not thin peas so you would use the seed spacing to figure out how many seeds to plant.  If there are thinning instructions, you would go with that number.  In square foot gardening you only plant what you need, not a whole bunch of seeds and then thin out.  This will save you money by using less seeds.  Take a look at the picture below to make sense of what I am saying.  So in that little square, I will have 36 plants and they will thrive in this environment.   The second thing I want to point out is the depth at which to plant the seeds.  It says 1″ deep.  That is an important element to factor in when planting your seeds.



Peas like to climb and be close together.  By planting these seeds so closely together, the plants use each other as support to grow up and flourish!  I also put up a vertical frame to help my peas grow upward.  This took me less then 10 minutes to put up.  You can view my video on how to do this below.


My daughter is going to illustrate how to plant these peas.  Simply soak your seeds overnight.  They will more then double in size!

Soaked Peas


Now plant 6 seeds in 6 rows, creating 36 seeds in one square.

36 seeds per square


Push the seeds in with a pencil 1 inch deep.

Push in 1 inch deep


Cover the seeds loosely with soil, never push down on the soil!  Seeds like light and airy soil.

Cover Up Seeds


Now simply water your seeds that you just planted.

Water The Seeds


That is it!  How simple was that?  Now water your seeds every few days depending on how hot it is.  You don’t want them to dry out completely.  Before you know it your seeds will be growing like this!

Sugar Snap Peas


This Post was featured on Monday Mania 3/26/12, Homestead Barn Hop

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11 thoughts on “Planting Seeds Has Never Been So Easy!”

  1. Rhonda Harader Cain says:

    I need to plant more pea seeds! I didn’t even read my packet; I went by instructions in a book and only planted 8; I can plant a few more in!. No wonder I didn’t have much last year. I will be out here Thurday to plant more. Thanks for the post! It it rains here like it is supposed to, no telling what I will have growing where!

  2. Whole Lifestyle Nutrition says:

    Oh and Rhonda did you notice my spring garlic and strawberries from last season popping up in my beds? :)

  3. Whole Lifestyle Nutrition says:

    The first year Rhonda I only planted what the book said too and had a very little yield. Last 2 years I planted how the seed packet said to and had tremendous success! I am doing 12 squares this year, We LOVE peas :)

  4. Rhonda Harader Cain says:

    I am going to do 2 squares. I am doing lots of root veggies, more tomato & peppers. I am the only 1 that likes peas. : )

  5. Rhonda Harader Cain says:

    Can you mail some garlic to KC? LOL! Looks great! My Rosemary didn’t come back this year…it has in the past. I had arugula all over the garden from winter. It didn’t grow at all last year but when I did plant, it was windy and the seeds went everywhere! I didn’t try to eat it, didn’t think it would be good. : (

  6. Whole Lifestyle Nutrition says:

    You know Rhonda, I had cilantro, spinach, kale strawberries, rosemary, thyme, spring garlic, onions and arugula that all came back this year (surprised me!) They were all good, so don’t toss them, taste and see if they are good. Now the Kale only the new shoots were good, but all the rest were like I just planted them.

  7. Rhonda Harader Cain says:

    I had Red Sails, too! Could not get them to grow for anything! Too late…went into the compost…will know next time. : (

  8. Whole Lifestyle Nutrition says:

    red sail takes awhile to take off and is very slow to bolt. Some of my best lettuce has been red sail. Don’t give up on it and don’t over water it…it likes it a bit dryer.

  9. Emily T says:

    I like how the peas support themselves when planted so close together, but do you not damage the plants harvesting the peas?  It would seem to me that you would need to push into the center of the mass of plants to get all the peas?

  10. Heather Neal says:

    Hi, this looks great! Just wanted to ask if you are able to pick the sugar snap peas alright when they are that close? I really would like to plant that many…I have 4 boys that are eager to pick:)…ages 10 down to almost 3.

    1. Halle Cottis says:

      Yep, there are no issues with picking them…this method has worked for us year after year!

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