Sugar peas, sugar peas

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Sugar snap peas (Pisum sativum saccharatum), also called sugar peas or kefen, belong to the family of the butterfly plants (Leguminosae) and are originally from the Middle East. Like other pea varieties, mangetouts are among the oldest crops and served as an important food source because of their high protein content.

In addition to peas and pea peas, peas of the genus peas (Pisum sativum) are also included. Unlike marrow and pea peas, snow peas have no parchment layer in their pods and therefore do not need to be "shaken". Similar to beans, the whole pod along with the small seeds is edible in the sugar peas. As the name suggests, the sugar peas have the highest content of sugar. In addition, they bring higher and better yields than their close relatives to a trellis aid.

Appearance and growth

Mangetout are annuals and herbaceous plants. They develop on a thin main shoot several lateral shoots with round, one- to three-lobed pinnate leaves, of which the summit leaflets are transformed into tendrils. Thanks to these tendrils, the plants are between 50 and 150 centimeters high. Beginning in May, the white butterfly blossoms usually show, from which the five to ten centimeter long pods grow. Each pod contains four to ten seeds. Like all butterflies, snappers on the lateral roots also form nodule bacteria that bind nitrogen from the air.

Pods of sugar snap

The pods contain four to ten seeds, which can be eaten together with the pod

Location and ground

Sugarcrops prefer a breezy and sunny location. The soil should be humus rich, loose and evenly moist. On heavy and waterlogged soils, the plants do not feel well.

Crop rotation and mixed culture

Mangetout are good forefeet. Since they are weak-eaters, they can also be grown in mixed cultures with vegetables that need a lot of nutrients. The "Kaiserschoten" flourish well with carrots, cabbages, fennel, lettuce and radishes. Bad for the mixed crop are other legumes and nightshade plants. As the sugar peas are incompatible with themselves, you should take a break of at least four years during cultivation and grow other vegetables in the bed during this time.


Since mangetouts tend to rot at too low sowing temperatures, the seeds should not be sown directly into the bed until the end of April. Ideally, the soil temperature is five to eight degrees Celsius. However, you should not wait too long with the sowing because, like other pea species, sugar snap peas are long-day plants. They form leaves only on cool and short days and must be grown as early as possible in the spring, so that enough leaves can form before the flower and pod development.
Loosen the soil before sowing and enrich it with compost. Most types of mangetout become between 50 and 100 centimeters high and need a stable framework - such as wire fences, hazel rods or about 50 centimeters high steel mesh.

Make sure you cut off protruding ends of the trellis with a bolt cutter or braid long willow branches to prevent injury. Orient the grid in a north-south direction so that the peas get enough light on both sides. Now use a hoe in the loose soil to pull a three centimeter deep sowing trench on each side of the trellis. The distance between the groove and the trellis should be about ten centimeters. Place the mangetout seeds individually in the grooves at intervals of about five centimeters. In order for them to germinate as quickly as possible, you can first swell the seeds for 24 hours in room-warm water. The Aussaatrillen are then closed by hand or with a hoe again and carefully pressed the soil. Then it is important to thoroughly water the seeds. From sowing to maturity, the culture lasts about three months.


To germinate, you must keep the soil moisturized. After that you only have to pour it evenly when it is dry. After sowing the seeds, it is necessary to hack the bed weekly. If the plantlets are about 15 centimeters high, they should be slightly piled and the shoots if necessary by the trellis help. The plants do not need fertilizer because they can convert the nitrogen of the air into nitrate via nodule bacteria. Watering is only possible during drought.

ripe sugar snap peas

Once the pods are fresh green and translucent, you can harvest the mangetout

Harvest and recovery

You can harvest the sugar peas as soon as the pods are tender, fresh green, translucent, and the peas are still small. This is usually the case in late June. The pods can be eaten raw, stewed or cooked.The grains taste very sweet as they produce more sugar and less starch than other pea varieties. You should use the protein-containing vegetables fresh, because the sugar gradually converts to starch when stored. You can undermine the harvested pea plants and their roots as fertilizer into the soil. This is how succeeding vegetables thrive better.

Conserve fresh peas

The sugar peas should be consumed as fresh as possible. For example, they taste steamed and seasoned with salt and pepper

variety Tips

'Gwisz' forms juicy, delicate pods and grows up to 1.50 meters high. 'Weggiser' is only 70 centimeters high, but makes short and sweet pods. The variety 'Oregon Sugar Pod' is particularly productive with large, dark pods and is about 80 inches high. 'Early Henry' is a tasty and robust sugar-berry variety that grows early and grows between 60 and 70 centimeters high. The Zuckerschote 'Zuccola' is up to 1.50 meters high and requires a climbing aid made of wire mesh or twigs. An equally high sort is 'snowflake', which trains many pods. 'Delikata' and 'Edula' are crossbreeds between pea peas and mangetout peas, which can be eaten with pods as well as out of stock.


Since mangetouts are annual, they need to be seeded every year. You can also dry some fruits for propagation and use the seeds for sowing in the coming year.

Diseases and pests

Feared is the pea winder laying its eggs on the underside of the leaves of mangetout. The larvae eat into the pods and pollute them. Infested pods burst. To prevent it, you should grow mangetouts in wind-open areas and pay attention to the earliest possible sowing date. Chop the beds regularly and keep the crop rotation. Deformed flowers and shiny silvery pods indicate an infestation with pea thymuses. These two-millimeter and dark brown pests hibernate in the ground. In contrast, digging the soil after harvest in autumn and early sowing will help.
Likewise, the powdery mildew can occur in the plants. Here, too, early sowing and cultivation in wind-open areas help preventively. Pale brown spots with dark spots on the leaves and pods indicate burn spot disease. The fungus is usually spread by sick seeds, but can also come from the ground. One countermeasure is keeping crops and avoiding excessive leaf wetness on the sugarcane plants.

Video Board: How To Grow Sugar Snap Peas. It's Super Easy!.

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