Peas are one of the most popular and rewarding crops to grow in the UK, offering a delightful addition to any vegetable garden or allotment. Known for their versatility and delicious taste, peas come in various varieties, each with its unique flavour profile.
In this article, we will explore seven of the sweetest pea varieties that thrive in the UK’s climate. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a beginner, these peas are sure to bring joy to your palate and garden.
Below we will have a look at the sweetest peas that you can grow yourself at home in the UK.
1 – Sugar Ann
Sugar Ann is a popular dwarf pea variety, perfect for small spaces and containers. This early-maturing variety produces an abundance of sweet, crisp, and succulent peas.
With a height of only 18 inches, it requires minimal support, making it an excellent choice for those with limited garden space. Sugar Ann is a reliable and flavourful pea that will reward you with its tender, petite pods.
2 – Hurst Green Shaft
Hurst Green Shaft is a classic English pea variety, widely cherished for its exceptional sweetness and rich flavour. The tall plants, reaching around 3 to 4 feet in height, provide excellent support for the abundant clusters of long, straight pods.
The peas are easy to shell and retain their superb flavour even after cooking. Hurst Green Shaft is a dependable choice for those seeking traditional garden peas bursting with sweetness.
3 – Oregon Sugar Pod
If you prefer edible-podded peas, Oregon Sugar Pod is an outstanding choice. This snow pea variety offers both crispy, sweet pods and tender peas.
The vines grow to around 2 to 3 feet tall, producing an abundance of succulent, stringless pods. Oregon Sugar Pod is best enjoyed when harvested young, offering a delightful crunch and sweetness that adds freshness to stir-fries, salads, or as a standalone snack.
4 – Ambassador
Ambassador is a high-yielding maincrop pea variety that boasts large, well-filled pods bursting with sweetness. Its vigorous vines can grow up to 4 to 5 feet tall and require sturdy support.
The tender, vibrant green peas are excellent for freezing, allowing you to savour their sweetness throughout the year. Ambassador is a reliable choice for those seeking a bountiful harvest of sweet peas.
5 – Petit Pois
For those who appreciate petite, tender peas bursting with sweetness, Petit Pois is an ideal choice. These small, early-maturing peas are harvested at a young stage, ensuring their optimal sweetness and delicate texture.
Petit Pois plants reach a height of approximately 2 to 3 feet, producing an abundance of flavourful peas that are perfect for adding to salads, pasta dishes, or enjoying as a side dish.
6 – Sweet Horizon
Sweet Horizon is a relatively new variety that has gained popularity among pea enthusiasts. This early-maturing pea plant reaches around 3 to 4 feet tall and produces an abundant crop of sweet, juicy peas.
The pods are easy to open, revealing rows of plump, flavourful peas. Sweet Horizon combines excellent taste with disease resistance, making it a reliable choice for gardeners seeking a low-maintenance, high-quality pea variety.
7 – Charmette
Charmette is a delightful pea variety known for its exceptional sweetness and tender texture. With a compact growth habit of around 2 feet tall, Charmette is ideal for smaller gardens or containers.
The plants produce a generous crop of petite, pale green pods filled with deliciously sweet peas. Charmette is an early-maturing variety, allowing you to enjoy its delectable flavour in the early summer months.
Its delicate and refined taste makes it a popular choice for adding to salads, stir-fries, or simply enjoying them as a fresh snack.
When it comes to growing sweet peas in the UK, Charmette is an excellent addition to your garden. Alongside varieties like Sugar Ann, Hurst Green Shaft, Oregon Sugar Pod, Ambassador, Petit Pois, and Sweet Horizon, Charmette stands out with its exceptional sweetness and delicate texture.
With proper care and a little bit of patience, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of these delectable peas. So, roll up your sleeves, sow some Charmette pea seeds, and prepare to savour the sweet rewards that this delightful variety brings to your garden and plate.
Garden Doctor Tips
“Most pea varieties require support to climb as they grow. Install trellises, stakes, or netting along the planting rows to provide a structure for the vines to cling to!”
“Peas thrive in cooler temperatures, so it’s important to sow them early in the season. Aim to sow the seeds as soon as the soil can be worked in early spring!”
“Select pea varieties that are well-suited for your growing conditions and preferences. Consider factors such as the available space, climate, and purpose (e.g., shelling peas, snow peas, or sugar snap peas)!”
“Harvest peas when the pods are plump and the peas inside have reached their desired size. The exact timing can vary depending on the variety, so refer to the seed packet or specific variety guidelines!”
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the sweetest variety of pea shoot?
The sweetest variety of pea shoot can vary depending on personal taste preferences, but some popular sweet varieties include Oregon Sugar Pod II and Sugar Magnolia. These varieties are known for their tender and sweet shoots that can be enjoyed in salads, stir-fries, or as a garnish.
Are there sweet peas?
Yes, there are sweet peas specifically grown for their edible pods rather than just the peas inside. Snow peas and sugar snap peas are two common examples of sweet pea varieties. Snow peas have flat, edible pods with a delicate sweetness, while sugar snap peas have plump pods that are both sweet and crunchy. Both are delicious options to enjoy as a fresh and healthy snack or incorporated into various dishes.
What are the best peas to eat?
The best peas to eat can depend on personal preference and the intended use. Garden peas, also known as English peas, are often considered a classic choice for their tender texture and rich, sweet flavour. They require shelling to remove the peas from the pod, but the effort is rewarded with their delightful taste. Garden peas are great for adding to dishes, such as stews, risottos, or purees.
Which are sweeter, garden peas or petit pois?
In terms of sweetness, petit pois tend to have a slightly sweeter taste compared to garden peas. The younger peas in petit pois have a more concentrated sweetness, while garden peas have a fuller and more robust flavour. However, sweetness can also vary among different varieties within each category, so it’s worth exploring different types to find your preferred level of sweetness.
Hi, I’m Trev and I’ve been growing things since I can remember. When I was younger, I grew up on a farm, so I have always been around plants and animals. After studying horticulture at university, I decided to start my own nursery which I have run now for 25 years. In my spare time, I run this website – which is a resource for people who want to learn more about their gardens.