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Peas

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* Prepare your pea bed.   Dig it well in autumn, and add plenty manure or compost.   You may need to add lime in winter.
* There is a bewildering range of varieties - round and wrinkled, dwarf and tall, for every season; there's sugar and snap, petit and asparagus peas.   To keep it simple in the first couple of years in the allotment, I choose two varieties of wrinkled pea (sweeter, tenderer, heavier cropping, but not so hardy as round varieties) - last year it was
* Kelvedon Wonder, sown in mid-March, but good for successional sowings, ready in June and July;
* Hurst Greenshaft, sown later, and harvested in late July;This year it will be
* Kelvedon Wonder again;
* and Alderman, which grows to 5 feet tall apparently, and will crop in August, when the kids are off school and I can use a heavy crop of fresh peas - rather than freezing the earlier ones.

* Prepare a trench 6 inches wide by 2 inches deep, and sow the seeds about 3 inches apart in 3 rows (stagger them - like the 5 on a dice!).   If you are planting trenches side by side, they should be separated by a space equal to the height of the crop.   Cover the seeds with soil, and immediately -
* String garden twine across and along your pea bead - pigeons love them!
* When the plants are about 3 inches high, stick in twigs firmly or a screen of plastic netting to support the growing peas.   For shorter plants, twigs are easier to use than netting, but the taller varieties will need a sturdy screen alongside the row.
* Keep the weeds under control - by hand if necessary; and water during dry spells, especially as the pods start to fill.
* Harvesting - don't let the peas get overlarge in each pod; they should not be touching or squeezing each other.   Pick from the bottom of the plant, using one hand to hold the stalkpods get overfull.   Making regular pickings before the peas reach full maturity will encourage later pods to fill out.
* When the plants are stripped, cut down the stems and compost them.   Leave the roots in the ground.




 

 

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