Monday 1 July 2013

Time to pick homegrown MangeTout (Snow Peas)!

Snow Pea (MangeTout) pod ready to harvest
Don't you just want to pick this Snow Pea (Mange Tout)?

There can be nothing nicer than picking your own home grown Snow Peas from the garden in the warm, summer evenings.  Before the sun sets, I race down to our vegetable patch and seek out the little pods of green that have emerged.

Snow Peas are also known as "Mange Tout", which is French for "Eat Everything", meaning you can eat all of the pod and the peas within.  This year, I grew the variety "Oregon Sugar Pod", and was surprised when delicate white flowers appeared; in previous years, I had grown MangeTout which produced purple pink flowers.

Snow Pea Plant growing with White Flower
Snow Pea (Mange Tout) Plant and delicate white flower

Sowing from Seed
  • The young seedlings easily snapped during windy conditions.  As our vegetable patch is quite exposed, we lost a few when they got blown about in the wind
  • Snails love them!  It takes just one large hungry snail to do serious damage to seedlings
  • Watch out for pests like mice and birds

  • The plants need to be supported with netting or bamboo canes.
  • Aphids can be a nuisance, but I learnt that aliums can be used to deter them.  By putting in some spring onions as a "companion plant", there are now significantly less of them.

Its really a personal preference, but I pick the pods when they are young and crunchy, and just before the peas become swollen and mature.

Snow Peas can be eaten raw, but I love them best stir-fried with garlic and a little sea salt.  Lovely and crunchy!

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