Saturday, 27 April 2013

Planting pea seedlings.

I have found, after many years of experience, that sowing peas directly into the ground is perfectly acceptable unless you have pigeons or mice anywhere in the vicinity. Also you have to have pea seeds that are not prone to slowly rot away in soil.

To be sure of almost 100% germination (there are always a few contrary seeds) I sow in modular trays using a peat free compost and keep them in the greenhouse.   You might call this molly coddling but it is the only way I can get peas to germinate with any sense of responsibility.

My Douce Provenance peas had mostly germinated and been outside hardening off so I decided to take them down to the allotment and plant them.  Also the climbing peas - the ones that had germinated -had also been hardened off out side and were taken to the allotment for planting.  .

I had tilled the soil with the machine but had not put any fertiliser on the new pea bed.  Previously it had the brassicas on and there are still some winter cauliflowers just starting to come now.  They were seriously affected by the cold easterly wind and pigeons eating the new growth of leaves.  I doubt if I will get any reasonably sized curds from them.

I have put up some canes for the climbing peas and this afternoon I attached some old netting to it to make it easier for the peas to climb.  I left a 10 cm. gap at the bottom to enable me to weed around the peas. One line of peas were planted with a little mychorrhizal fungi in some of the holes and watered in with dilute comfrey liquid.

The Douce Provenance peas do not climb so high so they were planted in three rows.  2 inches apart in the row and the rows about 4 inches apart.  I then put chicken wire around the seedlings to make a rectangular box.
Bit like I did here in 2011
People ask me how I pick the peas.  Well I just go in over the top of the chicken wire.  I is perfectly doable.  

There are some Douce Provenance peas seedlings left over so I will put them in in the new allotment.  I have some spare cabbages and Bedfordshire Champion onions to put in the new allotment too.  I will have to take some nets down to the new allotment to keep the birds off the brassicas.  I am not going to net the onions because I want to see how they will be affected by the onion miner fly. I think that its life cycle has been disrupted because it usually hatches out in April and that is when the very cold easterly wind was blowing.  I recon that a lot of them were killed and the onions will be safe without the barriers for at least this year.  

I have some more Alderman climbing peas and Early Onward germinating in the greenhouse.  Eventually I will have about five lines of peas on the old allotment and whatever is left over on the new allotment.  Two large rolls of concrete reinforcement wire were left on the allotment and I thought that I could use these for the climbing peas to grow up.  I am not too sure where to put it so that it does not shade the allotment too much.  There is also quite a bit of chicken wire left on the new allotment which I will use for any peas that I plant there.  

Although I have hurt my back sieve double digging on the new allotment, I had a go at digging the green manure in on the new brassica bed.  Did a couple of rows before I called it a day and went home.  


  1. Your technique with the peas is very interesting. I grew Climbing French beans in the polytunnel last year - never again - they grew like triffids. I shall grow them outside this year and like you have I have grown them in the greenhouse first.
    Thank you for sharing


  2. Hi Linda I wish I had a polytunnel. I could grow so much more.