Starting with growing peas

Early pea flowers

Peas please! I’m starting my new growing season with early peas – in this instance, a variety called Onward. They’re pretty common as far as veg varieties go, but seem to be really popular. In the past I’ve gone for rondo peas, which are great as a freshly picked pea, but have fallen foul of the pea moth (probably my fault) and can go a little powdery if they’re left on the plant too long (again, probably my fault). As a busy mum and part-time worker, time is at a premium, I opted to buy some plug plants from my local independent nursery, rather than growing from seed. I also wanted to try a slightly earlier variety as I’ve yet to get anything in the ground… only the perennials are starting to wake up now.

Podding peas

I’ve found peas to be relatively fuss-free plants, that just need the occasional feed and regular watering in order to thrive – I feed only occasionally through the growing season with a diluted seaweed feed, which seems to do the trick. I’ve not quite got the hang of pinching out yet (for those not in the know, pinching out new growth every now and then promotes bushiness, and gets rid of any straggly or leggy growth), but I’m sure that with a little concentration, I can nail it. But really, for me, peas are great to grow, and a treat to eat raw or cooked when they’re ready for picking in summer.

polyculture potager

I’m also a fan of pea flowers – they seem to attract a lot of attention from pollinators, and they look really pretty in the veg patches too. This year, I’m tempted to let the nasturtiums and more marigolds mix with the peas again, as they seemed to help keep the dreaded blackfly at bay… and the mix of vibrant green foliage, white pea flowers and bright sunshine yellows was really eye-catching. 

Although it’ll probably be a good two or three weeks before I can move the peas out of the greenhouse, I’m excited to finally get going – albeit it in a very modest way – with this year’s growing season.

Rondo Peas

Rondo Peas ready for harvesting

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