Peas

Peas are a short, cool season season crop, but frost tender, usually planted in autumn to early spring for a spring or early summer feed.  The main thing is tp avoid having them flower when there are frosts about or you will lose the crop. There are climbing (tall) or bush (dwarf) types, as well as snowpeas and sugar snap (the pods and all can be eaten)

MAIN TASKS:

Autumn – Sow in moist soil 5cm deep and 5cm apart (best direct sown as seed but seedlings can also be sown, particularly through the colder periods). They like a sunny, well sheltered position, not too wet or dry and without temperature extremes. Weed well as the plants don’t compete well. Erect plant supports before or when you plant.

Winter – Keep up the weeding and ensure soil stays moist but not too wet. Peas will need a structure to grow up.

Spring – Keep up the weeding because they don’t compete well. Mulch. Spray with seaweed. Water once they begin to flower but not too much. Continual harvest will ensure a good supply.

Summer – Continue weeding and watering. Water the base of the plants, deep and less often to avoid fungal diseases. Once harvest is finished, chop up and dig the plant residues back into the soil to add nitrogen.

Generally – Peas are an important legume to grow and you can include them as part of a cool season green manure crop. Powdery mildew can effect them so try a seaweed or milk spray and water in early morning, deep in root zone rather than overhead.

Eating – Fresh from the pod, raw in salads, steamed, mashed with broadbeans and goats cheese or ricotta and spread on sourdough, blanched and frozen for eating later, soup, pasta, risotto.

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