Thursday, January 13

Peas - must do better!

Last year we didn't do too well for peas so I'm hoping that this year will be better. We seem to have years when peas do really well like in 2009 and then years which are a waste of time like last year when I don't think the conditions on our plot suited. The early sown ones didn't do too badly but the later ones were a bit of a disaster. When the peas needed plenty of moisture it was really dry! It seems to be all or nothing with us! The shoots that did manage to come through were nibbled away by something before they managed to grow maybe slugs or mice. I don't think birds were the culprits as I popped some net over the seed bed. I kept resowing but to no avail! It was really disappointing as we love fresh garden peas and like to have plenty to freeze.

We have grown peas in pots which gets over the problem of something eating the young emerging seedlings but the plants seem to suffer a setback when they are planted out and never seem to do as well as seeds that have been directly sown. Maybe we need to grow some each way this year to edge our bets,

We also tried the gutter method and got into a real mess trying to slide the seedlings out of the pipe and into a trench.

We've chosen our pea varieties for this year and will be growing Kelvedon Wonder and Onward again. These usually produce a reasonable crop. Instead of Progress No 9 we will be growing Feltham First

Although the flowers are not as varied as those of beans they are quite pretty.

We like to grow some Mangetout peas and last year we grew Dwarf Sugar (but they were more 'ne mange rien' than mange tout) this year I quite fancied the sound of Carouby de Maussane. The catalogue description says it is a tall growing mangetout variety with attractive purple flowers. I'm looking forward to seeing if this variety is as attractive as it.

We did grow some purple podded peas once which also have a purple flower. We had seen some growing in an ornamental kitchen garden. It is a very tall growing variety that not only has purple flowers but purple pea pods too which made them easy to spot when picking (the peas inside are green). It was pretty but we haven't grown them again as we didn't think the pea produced were as tender and sweet as we like.
By the way if you are interested in breeding your own variety of pea check out Vegetable Heavens blog


  1. We also love peas and never seem to have enough. My spring peas did very well last year. But, the fall peas should have been planted earlier. We just received the news that we got two plots (allotments) at the local community, hopefully we will have enough peas this year!

    I just ordered the Carouby de Maussane peas the other day! I have never tried them before. Like you, I liked the purple flower and though they sounded like a good pea to grow.

  2. Great minds Robin - we'll have to compare notes! Good luck with you new plots.

  3. My peas didn't do so well last year either. I grow onward too, they seem a straighforward, no fuss variety.

  4. Purple podded peas look very interesting; to bad they don’t produce as good as green ones.

    My peas did well in 2010, but I harvested them too late so they were a little starchy.

  5. There are so many varieties to choose from. After flitting between the heritage varieties with pretty flowers, I was really impressed with the good old Hurst Greenshaft last year.

  6. My peas didn't do so great last year either and I am hoping for a much better crop this year. I feel that each year I learn my default so canhave a little more success the following season.

    I have no idea what sort of peas I will be growing but they will definitely be

    I think I will have a go at mangetout aswell but I won't try that gutter method...looks like it could be quite tricky.

    I just soak my peas for 24-48 hours in the warm greenhouse before liberally applying to a shallow trench!!

  7. I hate to gloat (who am I kidding!) but both my early and tall peas were really good.

    Can't remember of the top of my head as to what the dwarf peas were, but I sowed them directly and quite thickly and they germinated and produced well. The tall peas were Alderman and I sowed them in module trays and planted them out when a couple of inches tall. Once they got going I then mulched around them with some leaves. I'm not saying they were prolific, but they almost pulled netting down with the weight of plants and peas.

  8. I am not really familiar with the peas variety you grown, maybe due to different condition here, our seeds company orfer different variety. My boy, Ilhan will have a very big smile and jumping up and down if he gets that load of peas that you harvested before. I have only grown climbing peas. Does the bush one need so much space?

  9. Peas are fascinating. I do like the purple flowers but the peas from purple podded are definitely starchy rather than sweet. I have hopes of my attemtp to cross a purple podder with a green mangetout so get the purple colour but the sweetness from the green one. One of last year's batch was superb. I will grow this on in 2011 and see what I get.

  10. Let's hope we both have better luck this year Jo

    It's always a problem to judge just when to pick them isn't it Vrtlarica?

    It just goes to show Matron as we didn't do very well with Hurst the year before last - they produced the worst crop of the varieties grown but I know lots of people who think they are great.

    Some people swear by the gutter method Tanya but we just got into a mess. WE have had good pea harvests in the past and did exactly the same last year but ...

    You have a good gloat Rob I honestly think germination wasn't the problem just a phantom nibbler.

    In hot and dry conditions I don't think peas would be happy Diana.

    I read about your crossing on your blog VH - did you cook any and did the pods stay purple?

  11. Didn't fully answer your question Diana - sorry. To get a good crop of peas it does take quite a bit of space if you grow the low growing ones and most still need some support. The tall ones take less space. Ilhan will have a long wait as those peas are long gone :D

    Those peas were or early crop which did better than those planted later.

  12. Sadly they do lose colour although if you steam them they stay dark. I actually love mangetout as part of a mixed salad so it's nice to have the colour there.

  13. I am sure the next season will bring you a lot of nice peas. I didn't know those purple ones, do they taste different?

  14. Hope so Fer. The purple podded ones had green peas inside but they weren't as tender and sweet which is why we didn't grow them again.

  15. Good luck with them this year, I've never grown peas but am trying some mangetout this year, fingers crossed.

  16. Fingers crossed for a good pea year Damo. I'm beginning to think my second sowing could hacve co-incided with high weevil activity!


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