The Peas have reached their height. I officially have more Peas (these are Green Arrow) than I can eat. Time to start dishing them out the neighbours I think. I love this time of year. When everything is in abundance. Nothing feels too excessive because there is always more where that came from.
And that’s what it’s all about. Once your own needs are met then you can start being generous with others. I love nothing better than to give someone a Lettuce and tell them what variety it is. Or pass some Peas over the fence just in time for dinner. Brilliant.
I’m interested to know what is the crop you like to share? And which do you keep for yourself?
Home-grown Peas. You really can’t beat them. I love the way the plant itself is so fresh and green. It’s the very epitome of Spring. The leaves are intricate and interesting. And catch the light beautifully.
The flowers are small and pearly white and hide from view like they’re shy of something.
And then one day you notice that there are not one, not two, not even three, four or five pods appearing. They’re everywhere. And the more you look the more you find. They’re all green and they make that squeaky noise when you touch them.
Peas – quite possibly the greatest vegetable of all.
After a wonky start due to some cheeky little mice my Peas are doing very well. I have virtually a whole row of them that are about an inch and half tall. That’s means only one thing, it’s time to deploy the Peasticks that I
half-inched borrowed from a local estate.
My Peasticks lead a solitary life. Housed for most of the year in my potting shed, they are suddenly called up for duty in mid Spring and dispatched accordingly.
I don’t just use them for Peas you know – oh no. They have a plethora of uses, from holding up floppy Cornflowers, to doubling as Mangetout holders, and they have even been known to come to the rescue of a Sunflower or two. Yes, they’re very useful and in my opinion you can never have too many of them.
There will always be casualties. Like today for instance. I thrust one of them into the soil only to find I’d hit a stone and the whole thing broke in half – unfixable, it was.
This is not the only way to support Peas but I do love the rustic look that they give. And they’re pretty darn good at their job too.
What have you got planned for supporting your Peas? Any novel ideas?
I sowed some more Peas in lengths of guttering today – why? because the last two sowings didn’t even bother to appear! They just rotted, in situ. Humph! I’ve never really had this problem before. In 2008 I was transferring them into the ground by April 6th! And I can’t even look at the 2007 photo.
I’ve been doing my Peas in this way for nearly five years now and every time I’ve had no problem.
Yes, this Winter has been cold. And yes, the growing season has been set back about two or three weeks (I’d say). I only have to look at the tight buds on my Peach tree to see that we’re not at the same stage we were this time last year.
But Peas? They’re normally such stalwarts. Anyway, I’ve switched seed just incase it’s a bad batch and I’m crossing my fingers for this sowing. I can’t be missing out on my Minted Peas, it’s just not an option.
Is anyone else having problems with germination? Or is it just me…
Yesterday, I picked my first Peas. Most of them were delicious. However, there was the odd pod or two that didn’t quite taste as good as the rest. But why? The answer is I’d left them on the plant just a tad too long.
What you’re looking for is Peas that are round and green (as above).
What you’re not looking for is Peas that are square-ish and pale green (as below).
These Peas have been left too long on the plant. They have out-grown their pod and the taste has started to decline. They don’t taste quite as sweet as the round, green Peas. Some people would describe them as ‘mealy’, which just means that they have a thicker texture than younger Peas and they don’t go ‘pop’ in your mouth like the others will.
You can tell the difference before you open the pod. The old pods will feel fuller and there will be a slight difference in colour on the outside of the pods. The top pod in the photo above is the older one and you can see that it’s slightly lighter in colour than the bottom one. They might also start to curve and develop a pronounced texture on the outside of the pod if left a very long time.
Pick them regularly to avoid this. Sometimes only one or two pods a day will be ready but you can either eat them as they come or freeze them until you have enough to use. Either way is fab.
But if your Peas have gone too far don’t despair. You can still use them in soups etc.
Once the pods have started to appear on your peas it’s time to start watering in earnest. A good drenching each day will help the peas swell inside the pods and produce, fat, juicy, super-sweet peas. Remember to pick them just before you want to use them or eat them fresh from the plant. But either way get ready for a taste explosion!