As you can see, the Peas are in full swing. I have learned some useful things about peas this year that I want to share with you. Firstly, I grew two varieties, Kelvedon Wonder (my usual) and Rondo (a new variety for me). Early on in the year I sowed both seed separately in lengths of guttering in the coldframe. Then once it got a bit warmer I put the guttering peas out and started to sow peas directly into the ground. I alternated between Kelvedon and Rondo so that I would have a successional crop of both varieties.
This sounds nice and neat on paper but in reality it didn’t work out so well. This was for several reasons. The first was that the two varieties germinated and grew at different rates. So even though I sowed them at different times, the Rondo seeds seemed to catch up on the Kelvedon pretty quick. Secondly, Kelvedon is a very short, squat variety that produces short(ish) pods with big fat peas inside. Rondo is a tall variety (1.5 metres at least) that produces larger pods with the peas spaced out inside. However, the pea sticks that I put in were really not designed to support a pea that tall and eventually the Rondo peas started to flop over – putting them at risk of slug attack and also they started to shade my carrots (which incidentally I planted way too close to my peas).
So now both varieties are pumping out at the same time and I have more peas than I can eat. So I’m busy harvesting peas everyday and freezing them until I can use the. I’m also stuffing as many into my mouth on a daily basis too – don’t want to miss out on that fresh, green taste.
So what I’ve learned is that if I grow two varieties then they should be grown in separate beds with appropriate support. And maybe choose some more distinct early and late varieties.