Why Oregon SUgar Pod 11 peas not sweet

Asked June 19, 2017, 6:24 PM EDT

For the past three years or so, my sugar pod peas grow well, produce gorgeous, pods, but they are not sweet. My soil is tested professionally semi regularly and should be in balance.

Thurston County Washington vegetables diagnosis of plant problems sugar snap peas

1 Response

Hello and thank you for contacting us,

I have some ideas for you to check about your peas, but I'm afraid I might not have enough information to give you a very definitive answer. You may want to follow up with the local Master Gardener program. I've copied a link to their contact information (you will have to scroll down the page a bit): http://extension.wsu.edu/thurston/gardening/

A couple of things can cause an off-tasting vegetable, so I'll list them here and see if any of them might apply in your case. You said your soil was professionally tested, have you talked to your soil lab about this problem at all? If you haven't, then talk to them at the next test and see if they would recommend anything to improve your soil, specifically for peas.
Were you growing this variety before and the taste changed? If they never produced the sweetness you want, then it could be the variety, or the way that variety grows in your garden. It may not mean something is wrong, it's just the way the plant grows. If there was a change in taste, then keep reading.
High heat during development can affect the taste of the peas, and to make the pods tougher. Have you had periods of high heat during pea season these last few years?
Dry soil or cycles of wet/dry/wet/dry soil during pea development can also affect taste. This is related to the heat issue, and can be hard to nail down. I often suggest an organic mulch between rows to help hold moisture in the soil if this is a problem for you.
Are the peas affected by any disease? Some peas will be infected with a virus and if the symptoms aren't obvious we may not detect it. Oregon Sugar Pod II is resistant to the pea enation virus, but there are others that if contracted, might change the taste.
Are you saving seed or buying it? If you are saving seed, the taste might come from cross-pollination from another pea variety. This is unlikely, but if you grow multiple varieties of peas near each other, this is possible. It would only be the case if you saved seeds, not if you are buying new seeds to plant every year.

I hope this gives you some directions to explore. I would recommend talking to your local Master Gardeners or Extension if possible. They may have more information about peas that could help you.

Thank you for contacting us and best of luck in your garden.