Monday, January 20

Give peas a chance

As with most crops we grew a mix of varieties of peas. We also stared off some of our seeds in pots in a cold greenhouse and others were sown directly on the plot.

The summary of our pea growing and harvesting is as follows:

We have grown Carouby de Mausanne -a purple podded mangetout for a couple of years and it hasn't really done very well for us. The seeds have been started off in pots in the cold greenhouse and when planted out are strong plants with good root systems but they seem to dislike being planted out and start to fade after planting on the plot. I tried direct sowing some more seeds alongside the weak looking plants but these didn't germinate at all. We did manage a small harvest. We are going to give it another year and this time will stick to direct sowing.
The Sugar Snap variety was a total failure. It was grown alongside the Carouby plants but just about died when planted out. It was a variety that was substituted by the seed company to replace a tall growing variety of 'ordinary' pea so wasn't an appropriate substitute to start with.

The next variety to be sown was an early pea - Meteor which was also started off in pots in the greenhouse before planting out. This fared much better.
A second early variety - Misty was sown directly. The seeds were sown on a shallow trench. Three rows were planted a few centimetres apart as sowing thickly doesn't appear to be a disadvantage and allows for any seeds to be eaten or fail to germinate.
We've grown Onward for some years and generally find it to be a reliable performer. We started some seeds in pots in the greenhouse and planted these out.  

These responded well to transplanting and produced a reasonable crop however it was the directly sown Onward that produced the bumper crop. We only really sowed these seeds to use up what was left in the packet. The onward are the peas on the right in the first photo and on the left in the second one.
It's fairly difficult to come to any conclusions in the comparative performance of the peas but in the end we had a steady supply of fresh peas and also some to freeze.

Next year we will be growing:
Ambassador - a new variety for us which is semi leafless and is supposed to have good tolerance to poor weather and disease.
Carouby de Maussane  - maybe its last chance to perform.
Kelvedon Wonder - which will be sown directly
Onward - we couldn't leave this out could we? It's the most popular pea for a reason.
Misty - a first early variety which we grew last year
Markana - another new variety for us which is also semi leafless and supposed not to require support.


36 comments:

  1. I don't like peas but I can manage some mangetoute in a stir-fry. I've had really good success with Shiraz & have left them on the bush longer for some fresh peas for Mike. He loves them. It's Shiraz & Meteor for me this year.

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    1. And we love garden peas, Jo. WE haven't tried Shiraz (except in a bottle!)

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  2. Interesting to see how long the harvest times are. Onward looks to be a clear winner. I like Sugar Ann for sugar snaps, and if we miss a few then the boys eat the peas straight from the pod. Lovely. I direct sowed some at the allotment last year, which did fine, but towards the start they did get very weedy. Once I could see what was peas and what was weeds and removed the weeds they did quite well.

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    1. Onward is a maincrop so I'd expect it to produce a bigger harvest, CJ. As for Sugar Snap the company substituted it when we ordered a tall growing ordinary pea so it wasn't really an appropriate substitute.

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    2. Forgot to add that the weed fabric really helped as usually when weeding I end up pulling up some plants too. Also the peas didn't have weed growth stealing moisture.

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  3. I've always found Onward to be the most reliable. I usually start them off in pots in the greenhouse but I may try direct sowing this year, we'll see.

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    1. I guess another year with different conditions couple produce different results, Jo but generally for the later peas we have found direct sowing works better for us. There again we sow quite thickly

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  4. I've just ordered Misty for the first time this year, so heartened to see that you are growing it for a second year. I also grow mange tout Oregon Sugar Pod which has been very successful here.

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    1. I hope it performs for you, Jessica

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  5. Great lesson for me. Thanks. I only plant a variety of sweet pea right now

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    1. Maybe your climate is a bit hot for peas, Endah

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  6. This is so useful Sue, we're away at the beginning of May and having a lot of discussion about what to sow and when. Some of these varieties I haven't tried but I think they could work really well for us.

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    1. Glad it was useful Victoria. In earler posts I reported on out experiences with I have covered potatoes and French beanswhich may be of some help. I've also some similar posts planned on some other crops.

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  7. Peas, please! Mine always get eaten as snacks, but are definitely a favorite.

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    1. We use lots of ours raw in salads too Tpals.

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  8. That's really helpful in terms of what to sow. It's odd how some do badly isn't it? I wish I had more room to grow a few different varieites, but they do take up so much room....sighs....xxx

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    1. We are fortunate to have enough space, Snowbird. Growing several varieties does mean we don;t have all our eggs in one basket. This year they may all perform differently.

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  9. I'd love to have more success with peas and beans but I really would need to improve my soil conditions. I've a need veg growing area that is packed full of rocks and little else!

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    1. A vegetable rockery? It would be a novel idea, Kelli.

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  10. That's variety of beans! Hope you have good harvest this year! ;)

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    1. So do I Malar but every year is a different challenge.

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  11. When it comes to vegetables, it is amazing how varieties grown in Europe and North America are different. I am looking at a catalog that list 22 varieties of peas and not a single one of the ones you list are among those.

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    1. I wonder whether some are the same but go under different name, Alain? I find it fascinating that the birds we have the same names for are totally different like for instance the robin. I'm assuming your robin is the same as the US version.

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  12. We always grow the pea variety Ambassador.. they grow really well on our sandy soil and we always get a great crop from them.. they haven't failed us yet and we shall be growing them again this year.. Hope they do as well for you :o)

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    1. I wonder what they will make of our clay soil, Julie. We will see.

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  13. Great info definitely Onward and upward! I don't really grow peas that much - have grown Oregon Sugar Pod and Show Perfection before.

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    1. Indeed, Damo - at least Onward lives up to it's name which is more than the Swift potatoes did,

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  14. Very intersting post.
    We grow Carouby de Mausanne as a maincrop pea, though occasionally pick it as a sugar snap. We sow it in drainpipes and slide plants into the ground as a row,when they are 3 to 4 inches high. it grows almost as tall as Alderman, which we also grow.
    Gill

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    1. Welcome Gill and thanks for commenting. I think it was Alderman that was substituted. Carouby just didn't grow.

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  15. This is really interesting. Did you happen to notice any difference in flavour in between the various varieties?

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    1. We didn't notice a difference in flavour sweffling. They were all delicious

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  16. I appreciated the heads up on pea varieties. I thought peas were peas. I got some from a store and used them for my first two years gardening. They did great. I got fancy last year and got Dakota peas based on their little description of them. They did awful. I was so disappointed. I'm back to the plain old peas this year.

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    1. No two years are alike are they Bonnie. Are some varieties I mention available where you are

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  17. I hope Carouby de Mausanne performs for you this year Sue, it was wonderful for us last year and I can't wait to eat it again, though it does tend to colour any veg it is cooked with purple! I also got really good harvests from Golden Sweet mange tout, another really pretty plant to grow, though you have to pick the pods young as they go very stringy. I may try onward and/or misty this year...

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    1. If it doesn't perform this year it will be unceremoniously dumped, Janet. I wonder if it would make a natural dye?

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