Tag Archive: peas

Growing Peas – 2018 – Canoe & Ambassador, Waverex.

These two varieties of pea are seeds left from last year and need using up this year. I shall sow the Canoe now and the Ambassador a little later in the year. I intend to grow some peas at home in containers this year as well as at the allotment as quite a few were lost last year when Rob couldn’t get down to harvest.

Pea Ambassador – Pea  Ambassador is a Maincrop variety of pea which is ideally suited for sowing later in the season.  It is a robust growing, short-vined pea with good resistance to downy mildew.  A high yielding variety producing masses of large, blunt-ended pods containing up to nine sweet and tender peas of great quality. Ambassador is one of the only Peas that can be sown in July for an October crop and is ideal for successional sowing. I am swishing a few more of these seeds today, 2nd August,  and hoping the weather will help us get a late crop.

Pea Canoe – A well named and highly productive variety producing long slightly curved pods with pointed tips that each contain up 12 peas. With such full pods, Pea Canoe is set to become an ideal variety for exhibition. The heavy crops are carried on semi leafless stems for easy picking and plants become virtually self supporting if grown in a block. Surplus crops of this wrinkle seeded pea freeze particularly well. Useful for Spring and Autumn sowing. I am swishing a few more of these seeds today, 2nd August,  and hoping the weather will help us get a late crop.

Pea Waverex – These tiny plants produce masses of pods filled with tiny sweet peas. Peas are a good source of Vitamins A, C, B1 and folic acid and also contain soluble fibre. These seeds were an afterthought, ordered from Premier Seeds Direct, they are a petit pois variety and didn’t disappoint. I swished the seeds in a jar of water and they sprouted after a few days. Rob sowed them at the allotment and this week, 11 weeks later,  we harvested them. Not one pod let us down. I shall be focusing on these peas next year as both of the other varieties were no shows. We have had weeks of sweltering weather and we thought we had no chance of getting a good harvest but every tiny pod was full to bursting of tiny sweet peas. Our only regret is not sowing more at fortnightly intervals. Note to self for next year.

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Peas are a cool season crop well suited to the UK climate. Peas can be direct sown outdoors from March to June once the soil has warmed up. Using cloches will help the earliest crops to germinate. In milder areas some hardy early maturing cultivars can be sown in late autumn for overwintering and producing particularly early crops. For a continuous crop it’s a good idea to sow a new batch of peas every 10-14 days. Alternatively, try growing different early and Maincrop varieties that will mature at different times throughout the growing season. Water regularly once pea plants start to flower to encourage good pod development. You can reduce water loss by applying a thick mulch of well rotted manure or compost to lock moisture into the soil. Don’t feed peas with nitrogen rich fertilisers as this can create leafy growth instead of producing pea pods. In most cases peas won’t require any extra feed.

Peas should be harvested regularly to encourage more pods to be produced. The pods at the bottom of each plant will mature first so begin harvesting from low down and work your way up as the pods mature. Peas can be frozen but they are sweetest and tastiest when eaten freshly picked from the garden. Early varieties can be harvested 11-12 weeks from sowing while Maincrop varieties need 13 -15 weeks to mature.

  • Plant where peas have not been grown for 2 seasons, digging in well rotted organic matter.
  • The distance between the rows should equal the expected height of the variety.
  • Avoid sowing during any cold or very wet periods
  • Protect immediately from birds. Keep weed free.
  • Provide support when 3″ high.
  • Pick regularly to maintain yields.

Peas are legumes which take in nitrogen from the air and store it in small nodules along their roots. When growing garden peas don’t be tempted to pull the plants up from the roots at the end of the season. The leaves and stems can be cut off at ground level and added to the compost heap before digging the roots into the ground. As the roots break down they release nitrogen into the soil. 

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Climbing French Bean Purple Cascade 2017

22nd March and I have put some seed potatoes, Maris Piper, into a growing bag in the garden. We shall probably grow in a small way this year as the allotment needs a lot doing to it to get it ready. It has been quite neglected whilst we have been looking after Adam so this year may be spent just getting it back up to normal. I also sowed just nine broad bean stereo seeds in modules. We bought an oblong planter from Wilkos and I have sown Carrot Early Nantes into it and put it in the garden. The bean seedlings are also in the garden in a large 50cm pot. They are Climbing French Bean Purple Cascade and I have popped a few French bean Dulcina around them. Update 5th May. The Purple Cascade have suffered from the cold spell and I have replaced the seeds today. The other beans, Blue Lake and Borlotto are still in modules awaiting a decision as to where to plant them. Update 5th May. These Blue Lake and Borlotto have also been reseeded.

Update The Blue Lake and the Borlotto are also in a large planter and we have put in a silver obelisk bought from Wilkos for a little support. 24th March and the last four Maris Piper potatoes plus one Vivaldi are now in a big growing pot. First batch of Peas Ambassador have gone into a tray today after being soaked overnight. 29th March and the peas are germinated and have been put in the plastic greenhouse outside to grow on a bit. Laura and Glenn went to the pound shop today and bought three packs of seed potatoes. Two were early, Maris Piper and Pentland Javelin, and one Charlotte, was a second early. They seem good value at £1 for eight decent sized seeds in each bag. The Charlotte and the Maris Piper were planted at the allotment today, 2nd April, and the Pentland Javelin have been put into a raised bed at home.

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Rain at Last

I woke up this morning to the sound of rain. We have had a couple of weeks without a drop  and have enjoyed rising temperatures and sunshine which have been welcome after the coldest Winter in a decade. Ideally I would want light rain overnight every night followed by dry sunny days but unfortunately nature isn’t controlled by a switch so we have to deal with what we get and in this country we are blessed with mild, changeable weather. However the sound of rain this morning was welcome. The garden and the allotment plot were dry and dusty which is not great for new plants and seedlings or the newly seeded lawn at home. We spent a couple of hours this morning at home in the garden then popped to the plots for an hour. The rain kept off and the hour turned into four hours. We sowed more seeds of Parsnip Hollow Crown and Carrot Nantes into the bottom bed. There was great excitement when we saw two asparagus spears peeping through already.

Rob put in some Peas Kelvedon Wonder in the bottom brassica tunnel. I had been swishing them for a few days and they were already germinated so should be off to a good start.  The Hurst Green Shaft that I put in the top tunnel are well up now and the Meteor are showing through too. Rob has moved the obelisk that I grow the Sweet Peas up and I have planted the Spencer Mixed raised from seed at home. They are now situated at the bottom of the plot by the seating area.We came home with another bunch of Raddish French Breakfast, my favourite. I shall have to sow more next time we go down. At home I have pricked out the Gardeners Delight seedlings and potted on some Alicante and Black Cherry.

Garden Pea – Hurst Green Shaft 2010

I have never grown these peas before but have read such good reports about them I decided to give them a go. They are a second early so I shall put them in during March. They should be ready to harvest in 13-14 weeks.

Pod length is about 4″ with 9-11 peas in a pod. Pea Hurst Green Shaft is a super heavy-yielding variety. Only 28″-30″ tall, with all the pods close to the top. A second early, wrinkle seeded variety, which matures in 100 days from sowing. Pea Hurst Green Shaft resists downy mildew and fusarium wilt. And the taste! Has to be eaten to be believed. info and picture from Thompson &Morgan from whom I bought the seeds.


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Rain, Rain Go Away



We managed to dodge the heavy rain yesterday afternoon and get the peas Fortune and the sweet peas planted. There were forty four pea plants and they just fitted around the inside of the old brassica cage. They will be safe from the pigeons but I am sure they will fall prey to slugs and such. The sweet peas are now planted around a lovely obelisk we bought from Lidl and I have secured it with canes and string. The plants look quite strong but we have protected them with some netting until they get better established.

pea shootsToday I transferred the peas Starlight, that had been germinating in a bowl. I had been swishing them in a little water several times a day then draining them so that they were just damp. They all had lovely healthy looking shoots on them and are now sitting in damp compost for the next stage of their lives.

The weather forecast doesn’t look too good for our plans to build the tunnel next week. Rob has a week of annual leave and we were hoping it would brighten up a bit as we have a long list of jobs that need doing both on the plots and outside at home.

Peas in a Pod – 2007

In complete contrast to yesterday we worked at the plot today in torrential rain. Rob pulled up the rest of the pea plants and I sat in the shed doorway and pulled the pods off. We filled a large washing up bowl. The peas were growing around the inside of the second brassica cage so after Rob had pulled them up he pulled all the weeds too. When we left it looked really tidy with quite a bit almost ready to harvest.


We brought home two cauliflowers, one we shall eat with our evening meal and the other will be put in the freezer. The plants we put in yesterday on plot eighteen were looking good and seemed to like the rain. The rain hasn’t let up all day and the garden at home is like a swamp. Luckily the allotment plots are on a gentle slope so no waterlogging there, thank goodness.


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Judgement Day

We both got soaked to the skin today but came home laden with produce. A lovely bag of Charlotte potatoes hardly touched by the blight, four meals worth of peas and a bowl of salad leaves. The view in the lean to was heartbreaking as the cucumbers had been attacked by blackfly and mildew and the whole bed was a sea of yellow leaves. I set about cutting off all the offending leaves and gave the blackfly a blast with insecticide. When I had finished the plants looked naked but ready to fight another day. The tomatoes just needed tidying up a bit and side shoots removing. There were lots of fruit on the tomatoes and the beginnings of fruit on the aubergines. Trevor told us the local council judges had been to inspect the plot yesterday as we had been entered into the newcomers class . Its too much to hope that they didn’t peep into the lean to so I dread to think what they thought. On the whole the plots are looking quite productive despite the terrible weather and the blight.

Sad Day – Potato Blight

Today, as well as a bit of weeding and tidying up between showers, we cut down the haulms of the potatoes. Most of the plot holders have lost their potatoes to the blight and we felt very sad and were remembering back to a few weeks ago when we were so excited digging up the first earlies and anticipating being able to harvest potatoes throughout the coming season. We did harvest quite a large bag of peas however and enjoyed them with lamb chops and potatoes for tea. The flower bed is full of colour but the strong wind and rain has caused quite a bit of damage in there too.

In The Frame – The Greenhouse 2007

The greenhouse is at the plot and the frame has been built up. Stirling work by Glenn with assistance from Roy and Janice. Two panes of glass got broken in transit so we shall probably replace them with polycarbonate panels with a view to eventually changing the whole lot. The next job is to lay a firm foundation so we will have to buy some slabs.

broadbean2Rob decided to plant the peas, Starlight on plot 8 and sowed the new broad beans against the low trellis on plot 18. I thinned out the swede seedlings and replanted the thinnings. Not sure they will survive but it was worth a try. We are having to keep on top of the weeding as they pop up as soon as your back is turned. We had a late Sunday dinner with produce from the plot and it was really nice. We were able to give some potatoes and cabbage to Roy and Jan too.


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Garden Pea Starlight

The rain subsided for a while so we popped down to the plot to do a few jobs and check on the progress of the slugs and snails in the lean to. Nothing to worry about there as we didn’t find even one. I picked a couple of lettuce that had hearted up reasonable well.


The Cucumber Gherkin plants, although still quite small, had quite a few flowers on. I shall have to read up on them as it seems strange to be flowering when they aren’t even in their final pots. Growing Cucumbers in general is still quite a mystery to me and I have a lot to learn. I transplanted a few brassica seedlings into the new brassica cage. I am very pleased with the plants in there at the moment, only one of them looking a bit weak and, fingers crossed, no slug damage as yet.


starlightRob built a trellis for some more peas on plot 18. They are Thompson and Morgan Pea Starlight which are at present in a bowl on damp kitchen towel to germinate. A British Wrinkle (Early Maincrop). Very dark green leaves and paler pods. Mostly double-podded but some treble-podded per node containing tasty dark green peas. Has a high resistance to downy mildew. He also sowed a row of Frech Marigold Bonita Mixed along the middle of his seed bed. He had a third of a bed left after he had planted all the potatoes and he fancied making a mixed seed bed. He has great plans.

The fruit cage was looking very good and after hoeing up the weeds we decided to put a wood chip path down the centre. It looks very smart now and we were both pleased. However whilst in there we noticed one of the redcurrants had red spots on the leaves. I looked it up when we got home and it seems we have Blister Aphids. The prognosis doesn’t look too bad though so we shall remove the damaged leaves and treat the plant in December.

blister aphid

Currants affected by blister aphid still make growth and produce a crop, so treatment is not essential. If desired, plants can be treated with winter tree wash in December to control the overwintering eggs.