Saturday, July 29

We like our peas!

We really like garden peas and so we try and grow as many as possible. We buy a large 1kg (about 2.2lb) bag of Onward pea seeds. We have tried other varieties but Onward has proved to be the most reliable for us.
Our first two rows of peas were sown on 9 April and have just about finished. The second lot were sown on 23 May and are just about ready for picking. The third lot sown on 3 June are in flower and some pods are setting. The fourth lot sown 14 July were Kelvedon Wonder and they are through and growing. Then we sowed a very short row of Onward on 17 July.
We sow direct as we have never found transplanting to be successful as the plants seem to suffer a setback and fail to produce strong plants.

Once the bed is prepared a trench is scooped out.
If the ground is really dry, as it has been for a good part of this year, the trench is watered really well.
A very generous amount of seeds are sprinkled in the trench, hence the large bag of seed. We sow far more than is advised to compensate for any poor germination or foraging  wildlife.

The soil removed from the trench is mixed with some compost from last years grow bags.
The peas are then covered with this mixture.
This is watered again to settle everything in.
Pea sicks are spread over the trench to deter animals from walking over the soil or birds dust bathing etc. This will double as supports once the peas are growing away.
Then it is important to keep the peas well watered, especially in seasons as dry as this one has been. We regularly give each row at least a can of water and often two cans especially once the pods are setting.

The first sowing of peas are usually slower growing and so are often checked by pea weevils that leave the telltale notched bite marks in the leaves.
If the peas grow particularly slowly this can be rather devastating but if the peas are growing strongly they will battle through. This is one reason that we grow Onward as we have found some of the more celebrated varieties don't grow strongly enough.

Another pest is the pea moth which lays its eggs on peas that are in flower. The tiny caterpillars then feed off the pea seeds. When fully developed they emerge from the pods and pupate in the soil. To help control them it is important to rotate your pea crop. You can also cover peas with mesh but to be honest it could get to the stage where the whole plot is covered with mesh to protect from one pest or another. We are just careful when podding the peas.
If you would like to watch our action packed pea sowing video I have posted it below. It's about 12 minutes long.





17 comments:

  1. Isn't it almost a shame that peas taste so nice - because everyone and everything likes them, especially the pests!

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    1. The same goes for plums, Mark

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  2. That's a big bag of seed! Have you tried saving your own? I'll purchase a particular pea and bean seed once and after that, I only use saved seed - not only cost effective but rather satisfying as well!

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    1. We don't save seed, Margaret. We would need to plant a whole row of peas just to get the number of seeds we use. We are in the NSALG and so seeds from Kings are well discounted so that large bag isn't too expensive and well worth it for the outcome

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  3. I've given up on peas because of that wretched Pea moth. Of course, it wasn't helped when I came home one afternoon and found my friend sitting, very happily, in the middle of my peas having a free feast! Pea pests sometimes have two legs and are quite large!

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    1. Are you still friends, Deborah?

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    2. Yes we are, good friends still! However, someone else did similar to my raspberries and we no longer speak! lol

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  4. I like peas too Sue. Interesting video, thanks. Here the pea moth is the problem as well.
    Happy Sunday!

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    1. Glad you found it interesting, Nadezda

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  5. It's the mice that are the biggest pea menace on our plot - so covering with twigs (or wire mesh) is essential! I didn't know there was time for a late sowing but I will give it a go too.

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    1. It doesn't always yield a good harvest, Mal but worth having a go.

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  6. We grew Alderman Peas this year after watching Sarah Raven's Video about them on Youtube. They have been very prolific. I sowed the whole lot in one go which was a bit silly !

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  7. Nicely documented video on the pea sowing Sue! Soon there will be a lot of peas to be harvested! What you do with them?

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    1. We just eat them as a vegetable cooked or raw in salad, Malar. We freeze them too.

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  8. I watched this video earlier, most enjoyable, how hard you two work. The results are well worth it though. That soil rotater certainly sorts the soil, could do withone of those around here.xxx

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    1. I don't think that we could manage our plot without that little machne, Dina.

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