Allotment Growing - how to grow peas - ground preparation - sowing in spring or autumn - growing - harvesting - storing and using the crop
Peas fresh from the pod are a wonderful crop - and something that you cannot often get in the shops (the big food companies buy up most of the commercial crop for freezing).
As well as being delicious and nutricious fresh - they freeze very well - and some varieties can also be dried for storage.
Hence - well worth growing.
They can be sown in Autumn or throughout Spring.
Autumn sown peas can produce an early crop - if the weather is kind.
Spring sown peas may be more productive - but crop a little later.
For Autumn sowing and growing It is important to use the correct pea variety - as some will only grow well if sown in Spring.
A good reliable Autumn variety is Meteor.
Spring varieties include Hurst Green Shaft (my personal and reliable favourite) and Kelvedon Wonder.
Autumn sowing of peas is well worth trying. I like to have something growing on the allotment through Winter - it gives me something to look forward to and cheers me up through the dreary months.
Prepare the ground by hoeing out any weeds and levelling with a rake. If sowing in Autumn You might also dig a Bean Trench first (useful for peas as well as beans) to provide additional fertility and to promote growth. In Spring you might also add a few handfuls of pelleted chicken manure fertiliser.
Use the hoe to make a drill about 6 inches wide and two inches deep. Place the pea seeds in a double row - either side of the drill - leave about four inches between each seed as you sow them along the drill. Backfill with soil and tamp down with the hoe.
Tip - in dry weather - water the drill before sowing the peas - so that they don't get washed out of place.
Tip - sow some sweet pea seeds among the eating peas. The flowers will attract bees to improve pollination - and look nice!
Add a plant label with details of the seed and date. It might be worth repeating the watering after a few days if you happen to have a dry spell of weather and you have (like me) well draining soil.
The seeds should germinate in 2 to 3 weeks - depending on the weather. They will survive in most weather conditions - but If you are expecting heavy frosts you might protect the young plants with fleece or a cloche.
Growing Peas - Gallery - click on any image to enlarge