Snap Pea Supports

April 24, 2006

Providing some type of pea support or a trellis is a good idea when growing sugar snap peas borne on short to medium sized vines.

And a strong support system is essential if you choose to grow the taller snow pea and green shell pea varieties.

Supporting the Taller Snow and Shell Pea Varieties

For the tallest growing pea vines there’s really no substitute for setting up a sturdy support structure in the form of wire fencing, trellis netting material, or a bean teepee that will enable the pea vines to cling and climb.

Wire Fencing TrellisMy favorite system is the vinyl covered wire fencing material attached to six-foot metal fence posts or wooden framing. Another option is to attach the wire fencing to the top of an outbuilding or structure and secure the other end to the ground.

In the case of pea varieties that produce short to medium length vines here’s a quick and easy alternative to constructing an elaborate support structure.

Simple Pea Support System for Short to Medium Vines

Start by planting your peas rather thickly in a raised bed so that the plants are only two or three inches apart in each direction. Planted closely in this manner the shorter pea varieties will support each other and grow well on their own.

But you can make their task even easier by providing your sugar snap peas with extra support in the form of light brush, prunings, and fallen limbs from trees on your property. Simply press four foot long branches and small limbs a few inches into the ground throughout the bed where the peas are growing.

Leave any forks or side branches attached to the brush and this simple support system will give medium sized sugar snap pea vines plenty of support to hold themselves upright even when loaded with plump pea pods.





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  • Lisa

    This year, I discovered that my peas really love growing around those round metal supports made for tomatos. I planted my peas around the supports and the pea plants are really growing well. I think it is because they like the ability to grow outwards with air and space between plants, and those tomato supports do just that. I have tried many different suppports and this one seems to be the best. It is much easier now finding those ripe peas too!

  • Janice

    Thanks Lisa,

    This helpful tip is going to be used by me! This is my first year planting the sugar snaps and I want to use sage advice to get the best harvest and grow the best crop I can!

    Janice in Missouri

  • http://thegardenersrake.com denise

    I like to try new things so I think I will try the tomato cages,. They sound easy.

    I have been growing my peas on an old swingset. Its works well and I plant another vining crop toward the end the pea crop to get twice the use out of the swingset.

  • Lori Tyree

    A friend of mine said he always plants 2 rows of peas next to each other and runs a line down the middle so that he can train the plants to grow toward each other. Last year was our first time with peas and I heard his tip too late but plan to try it this year. Ours are almost big enough to put the line out.

  • Jill

    I almost waited too late to put my vine support up. The plants were beginning to get big enough to lay down. I had previously seen the suggestion somewhere to plant the sugar snap peas in two rows and I had done that. When I finally did put the support up between the two rows, they took to it quickly. BTW, it took nearly two month to get blossoms and pods. I planted in mid-March (KY), and am just now harvesting peas. It’s my first crop and they are delicious. Next year, I’ll use tall supports.

  • Jen

    Has anyone ever heard of using sticks/strings to hold up snap peas? This is my first garden EVER (I live in the city but a country girl by heart) and have 2 rows of snap peas. They are starting to get taller and I’ve heard about the string method but not sure how well it works and if it would be worth trying?! I’m on a tight budget right now and the tomato towers are 8 dollars a piece. Any suggestions?

  • Kenny Point

    Jen, there are all kinds of options that you can use to support your snap pea vines. Tree branches, wire fencing, trellises, netting, and string strung along posts can all be used to support pea vines as they grow. Use whatever is available and inexpensive for you to obtain.

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  • james johnson

    What kind of sun light should be used for the sugar pea to be planted, shady spot or lot of sun light, in central Oklahoma?

  • Kenny Point

    James, I always plant my peas in full sunlight if possible.

  • Sharyn

    Hello from Ohio! This is my first year planting pea’s also. I didn’t read this before planting though & put mine in front of a Faux fence on our property line, hoping they would grow up it. (I was told it’s been done there before) Well now my pea’s are about 2ft tall (and I stung hay bail string a foot off the ground) but they aren’t attaching to the string or the wooden rails. Any suggestions so my plants aren’t laying on the ground? (I put coffee cans around them too when I planted so my boy friend wouldn’t mow them over!) Thanks for whatever help I can get!

  • Gina

    My friends are growing pea vines up an old bed’s box spring. They just took the cloth coverings off and planted it standing upright about a foot in the ground and then planted the peas around and inside it.

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