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Peas are an easy, reliable crop to grow. If you sow them all at once however, you tend to get far more than you need. They can also be sown at the wrong time and in the wrong environment, leading to various problems as they grow. Fortunately, Dave is here to show us how and when to plant peas. He discusses everything including protecting peas from frost and how to plant peas in succession of each other. The varieties of peas we are growing this year are ‘Meteor’ and ‘Blauwschokker’ which is a purple pod.
So this morning, we’re going to set a couple of rows of peas. The thing with peas is if you set too many all at once, they seem to be all ready at the same time. So what we’ve done is we’ve sort of tried to extend the growing season by setting the peas sort of a fortnight apart. So in terms of when to plant peas, I set a row of a couple of rows of peas two weeks ago in March, and they’ve just started to come through. As you can see, we’ve got the bed covered over to warm up the soil, and you can see that the peas are just starting to come through. So that’s a good sign. So what we’re going to do this morning, is we’re going to set another row of peas on this side of the bed, in April, two weeks after this first row.
How to Prepare Soil for Peas
And it’s a variety called Blauwschokker. It’s a purple podded pea. So you set them a couple of inches deep. So I’m just going to make a trough to get the peas in. And I’ve left a gap between the rows. We have improved this soil with some garden compost before we cover the bed over to warm it. There are a few little seedlings coming through from what what’s been in the compost but, nothing to worry about. We’ve put a little bit topsoil in the bed as well. That helps to retain the moisture. Yeah. You find that if it’s all compost as in bought, shop compost, peat free, it drains very quickly and doesn’t hold the moisture. So if you do a mix with some topsoil and garden compost, it retains the moisture much better and the nutrients.
How to Sow Peas
So just going to set the double row of peas so I’m going to do is put them in two inches deep, about four inches across four inches wide and a couple of inches apart, you don’t have to be too particular. Make sure you’ve got good contact with the compost. So just pressing them in, these are, as you can see, the red podded variety and the peas when they’ve dried out. Sort of got a brownie reddy color, whereas normally they’re green. As I say the soil should be it’s quite warm now because it’s been covered over with the plastic and we’ve got a decent double row of peas in there now. And my dad always used to say throw a couple of extra seeds in for the birds because the birds come and take they’ll come and pull up the shoots, but, because we’re going to cover it over. I’m not going to bother with that. Um, but if you want to and you don’t want to cover it over, feel free to do do that. Peas are pretty reliable. They do tend to, to germinate quite easily.
When to Plant Out Peas
And this is a a tray, a modular tray that we set probably four or five weeks ago. So these are in advance of that double row. And obviously further in advance of this double row. So we’re going to have a continuity. These will be planted out in another week or so when all the the risks of the frosts have gone. That’s why I’m going to cover this bed back over as well just to protect them from frost. They are pretty, pretty hardy. And we’re getting to the middle of April now, but we can still get frosts up here right up to the end of May. So I’ll probably plant these out in two or three weeks after Easter. But these will obviously pod up earlier than this one. They’ll pod up earlier than this row. So you’ve got the continuity.
And the blauwschokker ones, you can eat the pods, like a mangetout. These are called meteor, these are an early variety. These will just eat the peas, but it’ll give you a nice early crop. So I’m just going to quickly cover them over and say just a couple of inches deep, the soil’s pretty good. So if there’s any lumps of compost or whatever in there, just break it up and then firm up the soil.
How Long Until Peas Germinate and How to Protect Peas from Disease
They’ve already got a label in for the last row, so I’m only putting peas in this bed at the minute, so I know what they are and then I’ll give those a good watering and I’ll probably cover them just for the next couple of weeks until the these germinate.
Just keeping an eye on these because I don’t want to get too big um, and touch the plastic. Because that’s where you can get diseases or, um, mold or whatever developing. So they should germinate again within two weeks. It’s a bit warmer now, so it might be a bit quicker. We had the frost the last week and the polythene protected them. So all I’ll do again is I’ll just pop the polythene back over. Once I’ve watered them. I’ve put that in, the main brace across the middle, basically just to stop the water sitting on it. Because obviously if, if it rains heavy that and the whole thing hasn’t got the ridge on it, it’ll just collapse. And then if it freezes, you’ve got the cold. You got the cold water touching the soil anyway, and now the peas are through, they need that growing space. So I will just fasten that back on once I’ve watered it.
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