PROTECTING EARLY PEAS FOR PLANTING OUT IN SPRING – 2nd wk in Dec 2013

It makes sense to spread the time of harvest to have something fresh every month if possible. This is a tall order more difficult  if the temperature goes below freezing for any long period in the winter. Mind you, some crops don’t mind eg parsnips, the everlasting cabbage is pretty robust too.  However, Ireland is known for its temperate climate which suits the sowing of some seeds in the autumn to over-winter, as well as sowing in spring. The broad bean, autumn sown onion eg Radar, and most garlic varieties do well if sown in the autumn and give earlier crops than such crops sown in springtime.

Peas, like beans, have big seeds. They should be possible to sow in the autumn too as they have the reserves of energy to get by when there is little light or heat in the depths of winter. We have sown  (against expert advice!) Kelvedon Wonder pea seeds and a mixed variety of sweet pea in early November. Perhaps, they could have gone in a little earlier in October to be stronger  going in to the depths of winter. However, it is a bit of an experiment. We might even leave some of the pea plants

Áine tending some of the pea plants currently in the greenhouse to make the most of low light levels in winter.

Áine tending some of the pea plants currently in the greenhouse to make the most of low light levels in winter.

in the greenhouse to get an early crop. Spring sowing of peas in March or April is the norm. Successional sowing, at least from March to June, makes sense to have a continuous harvest over a few months. Hopefully we will be able to buy a larger freezer sometime so that we will not be short of a frozen pea at least, any time of the year.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Kathryn Marsh on December 16, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    Round seeded hardy peas such as Meteor should overwinter in your new home from a November sowing – they are a bit hit and miss in Balbriggan even with protection. Sweet peas really need to be sown in October to be sure they’ll make it through. Don’t forget pea sprouts – the top three or four leaves while they are still small – make delicious salad and stir fry and then they will make side shoots and keep going indefinitely. And when you do let them flower and set seeds the picking will have made them bushy to get more pods. Win win.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Kathryn Marsh on December 16, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    Nicky Kyle sows mange tout in the tunnel in the late autumn for delicious early crops in the spring

    Reply

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