Sunday, May 24

We just can't get enough

We do enjoy home grown peas whether raw in a salad or cooked. We also like to freeze them for use later in the year. The problem is that we never seem to get enough so this year we are devoting more space to them. We are growing climbing French beans that will take less ground space and cutting down on the number of runner bean plants so this free space will be given to peas. 

We are sowing two types of mangetout - Carouby de Maussane and Golden Sweet - and three of 'normal' peas - Onward, Kelvedon Wonder and Ambassador. Note the super large pack of Onward seeds which will hopefully produce our main crop and also a supply of pea shoots.
We don't direct sow many things on the plot but we have found that directly sown peas seem to grow far stronger and produce a better crop for us. It won't surprise regular readers that we grow the peas through a trench cut into weed control fabric.
We sow a generous amount of seed to try and compensate for any losses to wildlife or non-germination.
Yesterday I sowed a first batch of Golden Sweet which should have yellow pods, Ambassador and Kelvedon Wonder and a third batch of Onward. Two rows of Onward have already germinated and are growing well.
They haven't escaped the attentions of the pea and bean weevils as the leaves have the tell-tale notches.
Fortunately this doesn't seem to impede their growth or their cropping potential.

The row of earlier sown Carouby de Maussane are just pushing through the soil.
These mangetout have attractive purple flowers. Interestingly for the first time this year I noticed that mangetout seeds are a different colour to normal pea seed. They are a purplish- brown as opposed to green.

Initially the newly emergent shoots are given a little protection from pigeons using some hazel twiglets.
Later hazel poles will be used to support the mangetout and short twigs will support the other peas.

We are hoping - well we can hope - for a good pea crop but for now we will have to content ourselves with the peas shoot being harvested from the greenhouse.



27 comments:

  1. I love peas too, but as you can imagine, I never managed to get a worthwhile crop from my little space. The peas were great, but far too few. I hope your "quantity production" arrangement pays off. I doubt whether the hazel twigs will deter the pigeons though!

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    1. Believe it or not the twiggy arrangement works until the peas have germinated well enough to inset the supports.. Maybe they don't like the movement of the twigs when they stand on them or maybe they just don't like peas which is doubtful

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  2. Peas are one of our favourite springtime treats. Have you tried Sugar Snap peas? They are like the mangetout (which we call snow peas) in that you eat the pod and all, but the pod fills out like regular peas & the whole lot is very sweet and succulent. They don't freeze very well, but they are the ultimate fresh pea treat. If I had to grow only one type of pea, that would probably be it.

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    1. Sugar snaps are really great Margaret. You can eat them over quite a long period as they swell. And even when the pods start to harden you can shell them and eat peas in the normal way - that is if there are any left by that stage!

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    2. No we haven;t grown sugar snaps, Margaret - sound as though we should

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  3. I am for the first time growing a few mange-tout in my greenhouse this year. They are just starting to flower and look really healthy!

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    1. It won't get too hot for them in there will it, Roger? Maybe wishful thinking

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  4. We get through masses of peas here too, although I mostly grow sugar snaps and mange tout - I couldn't keep up with enough peas in pods. I've planted Shiraz this year amongst others - Sugar Ann which I always grow and which I also grow for pea shoots - delicious, and another sugar snap whose name escapes me. Shiraz is a purple one as well, also with brown seeds. If the other sugar snap is any good I'll let you know what it is. It doesn't look as if it would be as good for pea shoots though, Sugar Ann is the best I've found for that.

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    1. Does Shiraz just have purple pods CJ?

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  5. I usually sow Kelvedon Wonder, Onward Early and Hurst Greenshaft - as I have little space I mix the packets so they all grow together and I get a longer cropping season. But even so I can only get a few meals out of the space that I have - but it is still worth it for the taste of fresh peas.

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    1. It certainly is worth it, Elaine

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  6. wish I had Hazel twigs perfect for climbing peas I grow them but they never leave the plot.

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    1. The two hazel bushes keep us well supplied David, Er let them grow for a couple of year or so before cropping them in turn

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  7. I love homegrown peas....kind of hate harvesting them though!!! I always soak my pea seeds for 24 hours before planting just to give them that bit of a boost!!

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    1. We water the trench well before [planting Tanya,

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  8. Interesting and encouraging to read your experiences of direct sowing peas Sue :) Those weevils do a good impersonation of shearing scissors.

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    1. They do give the leaves a fancy edge Anna, Goodness knows hoe many there are but strangely I've never managed to spot one.

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  9. There is nothing better than fresh peas. Right now that seems to be the only thing growing in my garden. If it ever stops raining maybe the rest of my garden will come up.

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    1. I agree Bonnie - I hope that you have a fine spell soon.

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  10. I love peas too but haven't had much luck the last few years, between the dry allotment and slugs n snails in the garden.ifunnily enough I've just sown some today though so fingers crossed. Yours look very healthy despite the weevil munchings.

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    1. They do like a lot of moisture, Lou, The weevils don't seem to affect them too much.

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  11. I love peas too and never seem to have enough, you can't beat them fresh and raw straight from the pod! My mangetout are up and shooting away in a pot....you remind me that I must do something with them! xxx

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    1. The first few are always eaten au naturel, Dina

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  12. I was about to sow my packet of golden mangetout when I glanced at the packet and noticed that they grow to 7 ft tall. I'm all out of very tall canes or supports so they may get pinched out shorter. I've tried the red variety (shiraz), which looked nice in salads etc and do at least cook red (unlike other coloured veg which cooks green), but were much less prolific than the green varieties. I also like sugar snap peas - like mangetout but with bigger peas inside - but they don't crop very heavily for us.

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    1. I'll pop Shiraz on my list of varieties to consider next year SandD and it looks as though we ought to try sugar snap peas too.

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  13. Just remembered - a TV gardening prog. once suggesting using dried peas from a supermarket as a source of seeds for pea shoots - we tried it once, it worked and tasted fine - because they are very cheap compared to those from seed companies.

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    1. I think that I saw that too SandD but we had nought a huge bag on Onward so I used those,

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