Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Peas Please Me


It doesn't take a lot to make me a happy bunny and yesterday's mail contained just the thing to get my week off to a good start: my free packs of peas for this year's RHS trial. I'll be growing mange tout Oregon Sugar Pod which I usually grow, and the new kid on the block for me is Sugar Ann, a sugarsnap pea. According to the packet Oregon Sugar Pod grows to 3 feet - as usual the plants I grow don't read the manual as mine frequently reach twice that size. I'll keep you posted on what happens.

The RHS are also asking for help in their winter-hardy survey 2008-2009, so there's a possibility some good will come out of all those tender plants we've lost over the winter. The survey is due in late spring - to give those dead looking plants every chance to come back to life - but you can start to compile some of the details needed now. Have a look at the RHS changing climate page for further information.

And finally whilst we're on the topic of making good out of bad, if you didn't watch Darwin's Garden recently you might not be aware of the MegaLab survey. This is looking at how tiny changes seen in the banded snail might be affected by climate change and the density of their main predator, the thrush. For starters I was surprised to find the yellow and stripy snails in my garden are in fact the same species - I'm still working through all the fascinating information on the website before conducting my own garden investigation.

12 comments:

  1. What do you grow your mange tout up? (or sugar snaps, depending) For some reason I imagine they'd be harder than real peas but is that true? xx

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  2. I have a double row of hazel poles (lightly coppiced from the allotment hedgerow) with netting for them to scramble up.

    They're easy peasy to grow and yummy to eat!

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  3. Yay I got mine yesterday as well and just came in to work to find the email with the trial report form.
    Have to see how I do! Again thanks for the tip off and good luck to everyone taking part.

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  5. I must have a go at this one day VP. I have an irrational feeling though that if I participate in anything like this that the seeds will not flourish :) I sowed my purple podded peas yesterday and have other peas to put in later. Thanks for the information about the survey.

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  6. I always grow climbing mange-tout or snap peas. There was the embarrassing time I erected a 6 foot tall area of netting only to find I'd misread the height and they stopped at 3 feet max. They did look rather sad!

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  7. oh oh, i got free seeds from the council today to say thanks for renewing out plot lease - wasn't that nice?!!

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  8. It's cool you are trialing stuff for RHS. That sounds like fun. I'm funny about peas--I like them mixed in with other foods, as in Indian and Asian food, but the only way I like my peas on their own is as mushy peas. Oh, why don't Americans know mushy peas?!?!?!

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  9. I planted some peas in my seed starter trays. I think I may just be better off starting some of them outside though. They were growing so well and then I put up a light. Apparently it was a bit strong for them....

    Good luck with your trial.

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  10. I've looked in two Garden Centres for mange tout seeds and couldn't find them. I wondered if they had gone out of fashion. We grew them years ago and they were really easy and productive as I remember. I thought I'd have another go this year.

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  11. I once made the mistake of growing mangetout back-to-back with regular peas. They intertwined and then I wasn't sure which was which, without tracing each plant back down to the base. Now I make sure that there's clear earth between them, so that I can be sure I'm not picking peas when they look like mangetout!

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  12. Dave - great. It'll be good to compare notes via my posts perhaps?

    Anna - I'm worried that may happen too - my success with mange tout has been variable, but then that adds authenticity to the trial!

    EG - I think you were wise to do so bearing in mind how mine usually grow to twice the length stated on the packet!

    Carrie - what a fantastic council - wish ours did the same. Good to see you out and about again.xx

    Monica - perhaps I need to research mushy peas for you and publish a recipe. From my time on a pea farm as a student I seem to recall they're made from overripe peas. We love peas in things like curries too :p

    Cinj - that's too bad, though I'm sure your idea about a second sowing will work too :)

    Arabella - umm, I think I might have some to spare, seeing I have a packet of 300 and one of 250...

    Amanda - that's sound advice. At least with Oregon Sugar Pod you can also harvest them as peas as well as mange tout!

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