I decided to take out all the old pea plants today. I had picked most of the peas and the plants were beginning to turn yellow. I wanted to glean any pea pods that I had not picked before so there was a tub ready for those pea pods. I also had a tub for the wire ties that held up the chicken wire which the peas had grown up. Taking up the pea plants is not hard. They pull out of the soil really easily. The time consuming job is taking down the supports.
I thought that I would take everything down to the store shed and put it away even though I will be using it again when the new Kelvedon Wonder pea plants are big enough. I am growing Kelvedon Wonder peas on the same ground as the Early Onward peas were on. I don't think that this will be bad for the soil because the Early Onward were healthy plants when taken out. The ground will have extra nitrogen from the previous peas; there will be rhizobium bacteria in the soil which the peas can form symbiotic relationship with and, whether they produce peas or not, they will add even more nitrogen into the soil. The nitrogen will only get back into the soil if the tops are dug in - so that is what I will do when they are killed by the frosts in the autumn.
I am putting the pea plant tops on the comfrey bed because they are going to be dug into the soil when the pea bed is dug over. I will also pack in some grass mowings as well to increase the carbon content of this area of soil. This will have rotted down well by next year when I plant the roots in this bed.
It took quite a while to remove the four rows of pea plants that were beginning to go over. The ground was then hoed and raked to take off the few weeds that were growing between the peas. I will begin to dig this over tomorrow.
Two tubs of pea pods were harvested while the pea plants were taken out and these will probably give about 2 kg of podded peas. I will pod the peas at the allotment tomorrow. This is another time consuming project.
Large inoculated charcoal lumps were scattered over the surface of the pea bed which were crushed to make a finer mixture and put back on the soil. This bed has had inoculated charcoal put onto it for three years running now. This is probably why the peas grew so big.
The sweet peas needed finishing off so I went through them taking off flowers. The flowers were bought home. The plants will now divert most of their energy into producing new flowers because they do not have any energy sapping side shoots and tendrils. I was going to feed them today because I had disturbed them quite a lot yesterday. Tomorrow will do though.