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How To Harvest Snow Pea? [Picking Guide With Storage Tips]

Do you know you can harvest Snow Peas before they mature? Most people think leaving Snow Peas on the vines will make them more tasty, but it’s not.

To harvest Snow Peas, wait for the pods to brace small bumpy sizeable seeds, become 2-8 inches long, and are tender. You can pick them off the plant by pinching their pod stalk or use sterilized pruners after they mature 55-70 days after planting.

Hence, if you want to know the details about planting them according to climatic zones, stay tuned!

When Can You Harvest Snow Pea?

Snow Peas (Pisum sativum var. saccharatum) belong to the Fabaceae (Leguminaceae) family, known by other names such as Chinese Pea Pods, Mangetout, etc.

They are annual varieties of Common Peas, but you pick and eat their tender pods long before they form mature seeds. Their pods are also flat, unlike cylindrical pods in Common Peas.

Further, Snow Peas are hardy from USDA zones 3-11 and are light frost tolerant.

Image illustrates the process of harvesting Snow Pea pods
You can harvest Snow Pea pods when they are tender and crisp.

Like all Pea varieties, Snow Peas are cool-season vegetables planted in late summer (in colder zones) or late winter (in warmer zones).  

After planting, you can enjoy Snow Pea harvest after 55-70 days as they mature between late spring and early summer (in colder regions) or between mid and late spring (in warmer areas).

Pro Tip for Harvest

You can bend the Snow Peas pod and try to break them if they are ready for harvest.

If they are difficult to break and separate, they are way too mature. 

But if they are delicate and break with a tender snap sound, get ready for picking.

How To Harvest Snow Pea?

If you want to pick Snow Peas for seeds, you can harvest them when plump and full.

But depending on the culinary use, people reap Snow Peas after they become flat and don’t bear seeds.

Snow Peas are good to harvest when the pods get bright green and begin to fill with seeds. However, Snow Peas prepare their pods when the surrounding temperatures stay around 60-70°F.

Image illustrates harvesting process for Snow Pea pods
You can manually remove the Snow Pea pods from the plant.

Additionally, when the seeds are getting ready, you must taste them regularly for sweetness on the vines. Avoid letting the pods mature on the plant for long, as they may get yellow, tough, and rubbery.

To maintain the crispiness and tenderness of your harvest, you can pick the Snow Peas in the morning hours after the dew has dried.

Steps To Harvest and Process Snow Peas

Although the process of picking Snow Peas is easy, follow these steps for convenience.

  • Secure the vine in one hand and pull out the pods at the base using fingertips or cut them with sterilized pruners.
  • Avoid pulling or jerking the pods on the tendrils too hard, as it may dislodge the plant from its support.
  • Additionally, harvest the Snow Peas from the bottom of the plant as they mature from the bottom top.
  • Check your plant for new pods every 1-3 days and harvest them fresh immediately as you can.
  • However, discard the pods that are brown or have spots on them, as they may rot easily during storage.

How To Store Snow Peas After Harvest?

You must store Snow Peas immediately after harvest by keeping them in a perforated ziplock bag with a few moisture sprays.

Additionally, set the temperature to around 32-40°F and surrounding humidity of 95% to keep the Snow Peas pods fresh for 5-14 days.

However, if you opt for long-term storage in freezer bags, blanch the Snow Peas for 90 seconds in boiling water and then plunge them into an ice bath.

Image illustrates the distance required for planting Snow Peas
You can grow Snow Peas in trellis while planting them in rows to keep a considerable distance between the plants.

After that, pat dry them using paper towels and store them in the fridge. Frozen Peas can remain viable for 8 months.

From Editorial Team

How To Plant or Sow Snow Peas?

You can grow Snow Peas from seeds by planting them about 1.5-2 inches apart in rows placed at 12-36 inches far during the tail end of winter.

However, sow the seeds about 1 inch deep in warm soil with temperatures at 40-70°F.