Friday, July 8

Has it been the year of the garden pea for you?

We don’t appear to have had great success with garden peas and mangetout this year.

It has been far too dry for them to thrive. We pulled our first lot of peas this week which is around the same time as we did last year but the harvest is well down. One variety -  Feltham First - has so far produced less than a third of last year’s crop. There didn’t appear to be many more pods left to develop but maybe I will prove to be wrong and more immature pods are lurking amongst the leaves.

The mangetout - Carouby de Mausssane - have yet to produce any flowers so I'm not particularly hopeful of a decent cropping (if anything) from them.

It’s such a shame as we really love our garden peas.

We have a second sowing coming up at the moment so we will have to just hope that they do better.

Peas may not have thrived but it seems that for one pea pest the conditions have been ideal. Quite a few of our pea pod show evidence of being attacked by pea thrips or thunderflies. These are tiny sap sucking insects which are supposed to be more common in the south of England but the warm, dry conditions that we have experienced this year have suited them. Heavy rain will wash them off plants but there hasn't been much of this in evidence in our area this year. The peas inside pods damaged by thrips are fine to eat but as flower buds can be damaged badly infested plants may fail to produce pods - I wonder if this is happening to our mangetout? As it is if the pods are damaged by thrips they will be useless to eat.

As I sat podding the peas I did notice that less had been affected by pea moths. I came across only a few of their caterpillars. 
Neither do I think our plants have been as affected by pea and bean weevils as they have been in past years. These are responsible for the notches made in the leaves of plants. It seems it’s a case of what you gain on the roundabouts you lose on the swings.

What has happened to your pea plants this year?


Fortunately we are harvesting other crops - for a record of our harvests so far click here. For just our July harvest click here.


24 comments:

  1. I had some of my first sowings rot from all the rain early in the season and had to re-sow them. Then I had something (insect) nibbling on some of them at the plots. The Carouby de Maussane did not do well at all. They hardly produced anything and I pulled the plants more then a week ago. The shelling peas are about finished, probably today and the snow peas are not liking the heat. The snow peas are now producing tough peas and many of them are producing big peas when the pods are very small. I pulled the snow pea plants here at the house yesterday and will pull the snow pea plants at the plots later today. Who wants tough peas??

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  2. My peas planted very early on are now producing very well indeed, but I did keep them fairly well watered during the dry spell. Another batch planted later are really struggling. My mangetouts, planted early again, are doing well too, but again I did keep them well watered as they're just outside my front door! It's my first time growing peas and I am loving them, can't wait to grow lots next year at my new allotment!

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  3. I'll probably give Carouby another go next year Robin - will you?

    That is an advantage of having things grow in your garden as opposed to on an allotment Wendy

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  4. My mangetout are growing and producing well. I don't grow many peas as there's only me who will eat them, but they look to be doing ok. I'll be harvesting the first this weekend. I always cover my peas, which I'm able to do as I only grow a small amount, as I hate finding grubs inside the pods, completely turns my stomach.

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  5. Our Mange tout is doing pretty well to be honest, they are providing plenty of pods for stir frys, salads and to go with a roast too.

    Those little grubs are revolting. Hopefully none will turn up in my late peas!

    Have a grand day,

    Martin :0)

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  6. We really need to cover the entire plot don't we, Jo to avoid pests. In some parts they have to cover onions, leeks etc too.

    It does tend to be the later sown peas that suffer from the caterpillars, Martin.

    By the way I am envious of both of you but the problem is that we just can't keep everything watered.

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  7. My Kent Blue mangetout have done really well. My home-bred purple mangetout have too, but we've not eaten many. I'm saving them for seed and you can only tell they are true mangetout when the pod is mature. Only just getting podders, even from early sowings.

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  8. Sue, the photo of the pea moth caterpillar is just amazing!
    Most of my peas have been poor, but one variety - Early Onward - is looking good. The pods will be ready in a few days. I haven't seen many pests, but most of the peas plants have been pretty "weak and weedy".

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  9. Same here on the poor pea harvest. Mange tout have been pretty good but sugar snaps were the surprise success story. Was harvesting on a regular basis and now the freezer is stocked full!

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  10. What a shame Sue. I seem to be having beginners luck with my peas, they are doing amazingly well. I think the peas themselves are probably over now, but the mangetout and sugarsnaps are still producing, and making me wish I had had room to grow more, they are so delicious. My potatoes, on the other hand... Maybe my secret is in the weeds?! All joking aside, I think the matt of weeds helped keep the moisture in during the long dry spell, so that despite not watering often enough they still thrived. I wish I didn't know about those horrid little grubs though, another thing to worry about. I think a large netting tunnel must be the answer! Though then the pollinators would presumably struggle...

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  11. Have you grown any ordinary garden peas VH. Is Kent Blue available from any of the seed companies do you know?

    Just a pity that those little caterpillars have to get into the peas in the first place mark. Must admit it made me worry about mangetout but apparently we eat them before the caterpillars can get to them - I hope that's correct! We didn't grow any Early Onward this year - maybe a mistake!

    What varieties of mangetout did you grow, SVG?

    Our peas had weeds around them too, Janet but it didn't seem to help. If you grow your peas early i.e. have then flowering and setting pods before May or late to flower after July you should avoid pea moth maggots.

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  12. Hi Sue I've never grown peas but this is my first year for mangetout and it's been fantastic, can't keep up with it to be honest. We always have a bowl in the kitchen to munch on raw. But it's in the garden so watering hasn't been a problem, I can imagine it suffers if too dry.

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  13. Peas? I wish! I sowed a dwarf variety that germinated by never got as far as producing anything as they were eaten. Since then I've sowed 3 rows of tall peas (Telephone) at different times - I think I have about 6 plants about 4 inches high to show for it :>(

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  14. I've grown Alderman, a tall pea, and Canoe, a shorter modern variety. Just had our first picking from each this week.
    Kent Blue are a Heritage variety. I don't know if anyone sells them commercially but I'm saving seed again and can let you have some later in the year if yo're interested?

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  15. When the crops are outside of you back door, Damo which may include having a plot very close to your house it;s easier to pop and water at the best time in the day but for us it is a couple of miles to our plot.

    A fellow sufferer Rob!

    I would be interested in trying just a few VH.

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  16. Our peas are not doing well as well. They look sick. Hope our new batches will fare well. Hope your second batch will give you many harvest.

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  17. Hi Sue, hope your second batch of peas are more prolific. I am only growing sugar snaps..our cool, wet spring was perfect for them. It's a bumper crop this year.

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  18. Hope we both do better Diana

    Our problem was that we had a warm April, Jenni followed by so little rain. Even to date we have had far less than average.

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  19. It's interesting reading about pea and bean crops. I've never had much luck with either so I like to read how others have fared.

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  20. We have an on/off relationship with peas Kelli but usually get plenty of beans.

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  21. I have had very little success with my peas this year and i am seriously considering sowing a late batch to see if they do any better!!

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  22. We have some coming up at the moment but germination still seems patchy Tanya. Nothing to be lost having another go though except the price of a packet of seeds.

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  23. My peas have been hopeless this year. They've either failed to germinate or simply failed to thrive. It's definitely not a pea year!

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  24. We seem to be a divided lot, Woody. Good pea harvest versus rubbish pea harvest and we seem to have drawn the short straw!

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