Growin’ Pea

Family name: legumes (Leguminosae)

Vegetables that belong to this family are bean (broad, French and runner) and pea. All these can be grown in the same way. Legumes are one of the few plant families that can produce nitrogen on their roots, thereby benefiting next years crop. Therefore it is very beneficial to keep the roots in the soil to rot after harvest. Legumes are very good for consumption since they provide a lot of protein.

Varieties of peas

There are two types of pea. The first is the Mange Tout of which you can eat the whole pod before the seeds develop. The second type of pea we can grow is the standard garden pea, of which the pea itself alone is edible.

Soil, sowing and planting

Peas like a neutral pH level in the soil (6.5). Any garden soil will do, provided you put good well rotten compost into it beforehand.

It’s best to plant two seeds per small pot and plant out when the plants are 10 cm high into their permanent beds. Plant them about 20 cm apart from each other. Peas need some chicken wire or sticks to climb up on, since this plant is a creeper. When you use sticks make sure to put some strings between the sticks, so the plant can easily attach themselves to the strings.

Both varieties of peas are sown from March until May. Indoors (in a polly tunnel or on a window sill for instance) both varieties can also be sown in October for harvest in spring.

Harvest

Peas can be harvested from July to September Mange Touts can be harvested even earlier, as soon as June. The peas that have been sown in October can be harvested from April until May.

Harvest the Mange Touts when the pods are 5 cm long, as they are at their sweetest in this stage. Peas on the other hand need to grow a bit more and should be eaten fresh or can be frozen directly after harvest.

Pests and diseases

Peas usually don’t suffer from any diseases but can be affected adversely by insects. But this is also mostly hardly noticeable.

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