Last week saw several inches of snow here in Massachusetts, in what was (hopefully!) winter's last shenanigans.
I was thankful for the snow, as two days later the temperatures dropped into the teens, and my plants needed some insulation. In fact, enough snow had melted in between that I had to shovel more snow onto my snow pea seedlings in an effort to save them from the cold.
I was worried about my seedlings. They are called 'snow peas', but just how much cold can snow peas stand?
Apparently, even without snow cover, snow pea seedlings are just fine in temperatures as low as 28°F (-2°C). In fact, light frosts, which occur between 28°F and 32°F, are actually beneficial to young plants, stimulating more growth. When temperatures drop to between 20°F and 28°F (-6°C and -2°C) and there is no snow cover, the seedlings can survive but may be the worse for wear. (It is interesting to note that mature snow pea plants are not as hardy as young ones. Older plants suffer much more damage from cold and often die when temperatures hit freezing.)
While snow pea seedlings are remarkably hardy all on their own, give them a little snow and you'd be amazed. With an insulating blanket of snow cover, young snow peas can survive temperatures as low as 10°F or even 5°F (-12°C to -15°C)!
I'm happy to report that, thanks to their snowy covering, all my seedlings survived last week's cold.
I guess they don't call them 'snow' peas for nothing!