Site Preparation: The addition of well rotted manure to the site in autumn and a dose of bonemeal to aid root development in the initial stages of growth.
Sowing: Large seed make this crop easy to sow. I soak my peas in water for a couple of hours in my shed to help break down the seed coating. I use toilet roll tubes as they allow more room for roots to grow and will bio degrade into the soil once the plants outgrow them. Push seeds into the compost about an inch deep.
Planting Out: When planting out put each plant about a hands width apart onto an A frame to allow the plants to climb up. Feed with a high N2 fertiliser if after a fortnight the plants are still struggling to get under way.
Harvesting: Snap pods off of plants when harvesting or use secateurs if required. Once home remove the peas from the pods and use or freeze immediately. The pods will be perfect fodder for your compost.
Pests and Diseases: Pigeons are the peas number one pest and netting should be used to prevent attacks occurring. Other problems include:
- Slugs and Snails - Pellets
- Mice - Trap
- Powdery Mildew - Shouldn't affect the crop however burn the plants once finished
- Aphids - Insect spray
- Pea Moth - Insect spray
Varieties: The following are the varieties i have used with notes on the performance of each one.
- Oregon Sugar Pod - Nice fresh, don't keep very well
- Asparagus Pea - Not my cup of tea but unusual.
- Jumbo - Sweet, easy to grow
- Ambassador - Good all rounder.
- Cavalier - Easy to grow, heavy cropper (up to 10 peas per pod)
- Hurst Green Shaft - Traditional variety, good all rounder, heavy cropper (10 - 11 peas per pod)
- Kelvedon Wonder - Excellent variety, medium cropper, good kitchen use.