Growing Mangetout Pea Plants in Your Garden – Best Plant Guides and Tips

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Real Men Sow

When I first started gardening, growing mangetout peas in my garden was one of the first pea plant seeds on my shopping list. Every allotment holder and GYOer grows peas, right? They’re a plot staple. Where would we be without the good old garden pea?

Growing Mangetout Peas On Wigwam And Containers in Your Garden

Growing mangetout pea plant and sweet peas have always been hit-and-miss for me. I’ve grown them in lots of different ways, ranging from up wigwams (the most successful for me) to containers, as well the traditional garden methods, such as supporting dwarf varieties with twigs and sticks.

Growing Mangetout Pea Plants from Seed

The trouble is, I’ve often felt underwhelmed by the yield of the produce. Everything would look promising, but by the time I’d shelled the pea pods, there wouldn’t be much to show for the considerable space the plants were taking up. Then I discovered sowing mangetout, and slowly, everything changed. For anyone who doesn’t know, mangetout is a type of pea plant, but they’re the little flat pea pods, which you eat whole before the peas swell.


Do the mangetout pea plants grow every year?

Each year that I’ve grown mangetout, they’ve outcropped the peas. Given the same space as peas, mangetout provides so much more bang for the buck, and now my peas are on the brink of being phased out completely in favour of the bigger mangetout harvests. With space being at a premium in the garden beds, I’ve no room for both, and there’s only ever going to be one winner. It is with veggie growing regret that I’m not giving peas a chance.

When growing mangetout, it’s critical to choose a spot with full sun exposure and soil that drains well. The pH range that works best for the plants is 6.0 to 7.0. They should be spaced about 2-3 inches apart in rows 18-24 inches apart, whether grown in raised beds or directly in the ground.

Growing Mangetout Peas to Save Money

In stores, mangetout peas are significantly more expensive than other peas, such as snap peas and snow peas. I noticed this when we picked up a big bag of frozen peas from the local supermarket for just over a quid. I couldn’t believe how cheap they were—loads of British peas, at a cheaper price than a packet of seeds.

Cost of Planting Mangetout

On the other hand, the price of mangetout is through the roof. A 215g packet of mangetout costs £1.40 in one of the big supermarkets—that’s a whopping £6.51 a kilo, compared to just £1.50 for the same quantity of peas. I know mangetout is out of season and the peas are frozen, so the comparison is possibly a bit unfair, but that’s plenty of food for thought if you’re growing to save money.

Pick Good Mangetout Pea Plants Garden Varieties

If you want to try your hand at mangetout, I recommend the dependable and popular Oregon Sugar Pod AGM or the heritage seed variety Golden Sweet.

Oregon Sugar Pod is the best sown in a row and has grown against some netting. The plant will reach about a meter high, making it a doddle to harvest.

Golden Sweet are available from Real Seeds and are trickier to pick as they can grow up to six feet high. I grew this variety up a wigwam a couple of years ago, and it was the best harvest of mangetout I’ve ever had. Even the courgettes couldn’t keep up!

Real Men Sow
Real Men Sow

Hello, I’m Pete and I’m currently based in the west of Scotland, in a small place called Rosneath, where I’m exploring my garden adventures. I personally started gardening around 6 years ago and initially, I started out by growing my favorite fruits and berries, such as strawberries, Raspberries & Gooseberries. Since then I’ve added a lot of vegetables and working closely with my neighbor, it’s been a lot of fun.

9 thoughts on “Growing Mangetout Pea Plants in Your Garden – Best Plant Guides and Tips”

  1. Funny, I’m in the opposite situation! I never grew podding peas before because they didn’t seem worth it, but after podding a few ‘multipurpose’ peas that had gone past the mangetout stage last year, I’m giving a few ‘proper’ peas a try.

    You must try the mangetout variety ‘Carouby de Maussane’ if you can – HUGE pods that just get sweeter as they get bigger!

  2. I hadn’t ordered any peas this year as I have been feeling the same About my pea crops. Definitely going to try mangetout now though!

  3. Hmm, I’m not having that much luck with peas either, so far, but to me freshly shelled peas are up there with asparagus, so I’m going to continue with the peas. But good luck with your mangetout.

  4. I really must fly the flag for the pea! I would heartily recommend the variety Twinkle (I just liked the name) they are a very early variety I have just down my first row on the greenhouse but I am in the very far South West so it might be a little early for some. In the greenhouse they are all over before you need the space for toms etc and crop heavily. Outside they have never failed to give a good crop which, when followed on by a later variety have given me peas most of the summer and although mangetout are very nice you can’t beat a home grown pea!

  5. One of my all time favourite things about growing peas is eating them raw, shelled and popped into the mouth mere seconds after picking them. Don’t think I could live without that experience each year.
    My daughters got in on the act last year, and they love shelling them for dinner too, so I’m taking the pea corner!!!
    Why not grow pea shoots on the windowsill for salads and stir frys? The cost an arm and a leg from the shops, taste amazing, take up barely any room and you could still say you’re growing peas ☺

  6. I live in the US and the was about to go look up what mange tout was. Until you said what variety you grow. Oregon is the state I live in. We call them snap peas here and then there are also snow peas. Snap peas are eaten with puffy pods, snow peas are flat and used in Chinese stir fry. My favorite variety is Cascadia. I’d be happy to mail you a packet. Leave some peas on the vine till dry and use those seeds the next year. They don’t cross pollinate and you’ll never have to buy new seeds. I’m with you on shelling peas. Too much work, not enough pay.

  7. I did the same thing as you – swapping from growing peas to growing mangetout. However, I really missed the magic of taking peas out their pods. It can be a bit fiddly, and it’s not as if peas are expensive in the shops. But I wouldn’t be without them in the veg plot.

  8. I’m with you on the mangetout revolution.. although I do love peas freshly picked, eaten on the spot, its so frustrating having such a massive range of readiness when you go to pick them
    , some would be too little, some past their best and gone starchy.. but with mange tout their ‘edible period’ is much longer than little pea. Sorry little pea. I do miss you though 🙁

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