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I have just received my seed order and am trying asparagus peas for the 1st time. Has anyone else any ideas on these. Are they easy to grow? Do I soak seeds first as I do with all my peas? There are a very few in the packet and I do want to enjoy them. Do you eat the whole pea? Can they be grown in pots instead of rows? Does anyone know?

Busy-Lizzie

I have grown asparagus peas. If the weather is dry they do need a lot of watering. I live in Dordogne and one hot summer they weren't worth the effort. However, they are delicious if you pick them small and young, only about an inch long. You eat the whole pod. I grew them in the ground. The flowers are very pretty. But I don't soak any of my pea seeds and they always germinate. Just keep the soil damp.

Hi Buzy-Lizzie I'm in Normandy opposite Jersey! Think I shall order another packet, as thanks to you they sound like a good idea in our milder climate. I always soak my peas for a morning or afternoon as I find they sprout quicker and also seem to put off voles.Kelvedon Wonder is the best one for me despite all the French varieties. I still return to this old favourite which is easily available here.

KEF

Biofreak & Lizzie.

If I remember correctly they needed a high germination temperature, I had to do mine indoors.

For me they were a waste of time. Lovely flowers but that's best I can say. They took a lot of room in the plot, grew rapidly, needed picking everyday, picked them very small. I didn't think they tasted of anything, in fact they were unpleasant in the mouth. I tried steaming, braising, stir frying and I ended up throwing them away.

Hopefully they will do better in a Normandy climate as they do in the Dordogne. Please let me know what you think when you harvest them.

Berghill

Utter waste of time. If you do not pick them with the flower still on, the pod is so stringy as to be completely inedible. Even when picked tiny, they are rather tasteless. Rarely find anyone growing them twice.

 

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Busy-Lizzie

I'm not growing asparagus peas this year as they need so much picking and watering, but I'm growing mange tout peas which did really well last year and are great in stir fries. They froze well too. I also grow Kelvedon Wonder, much the sweetest and most reliable. Easily available here too. My mother used to dip her peas in paraffin to stop the mice eating them.

Busy-Lizzie

Now seen Berghill's reply too. They were nice if picked very young and watered a lot, I think the warmth here helped them to grow quickly so they were tender. But if picked too late they were stringy and horrible.

Agree that they are horrible! The red flowers were pretty though.

Oh dear - Will not buy a second packet - but will report back on my thoughts!

Grew them once.  Never again.  

I stick to proper peas now and sometimes mangetouts or sugar snaps.

artjak

I grew them one year, but missed the 'nano-second' when they were the right size. Too big and sprawling for my veg bed.

I bought some for the first time this year too

 

KEF

Zoomer I can honestly say don't bother. Unless you grow them as ground covering flowers.

It was only a few weeks ago when sorting seeds out that I threw the remainder of packet of peas away. If I'd know we'd have this thread I'd have gladly let Forkers have them, save them some money.

Now others have agreed and I know it wasn't just my growing of them, I must say they were vile.

Thanks KEF. Luckily I only bought a few seeds cheaply. 

Seems a shame to waste the seeds though. How would you rate them in terms of producing flowers, attracting good guys and possible companion planting to let beasties feed on them instead of the better tasting edible veg. 

KEF

Zoomer I can't remember how interesting they were to the good guys, I was too busy trying to pick the blinking things.

They are pretty and I'm sure some insect will like them. They do sprawl on surface and give nice ground cover. Can't say for how long as I pulled them up, no room for passengers in my veg area.

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Dovefromabove

I suppose you could sow the seeds and pick the shoots for salads - they cost a fortune in the supermarkets and are very trendy 

KEF

Dove, not seen asparagus pea shoots in SM's...are they in fresh stuff with haggis ? 

Dovefromabove

If you've not seen them lately it'll be because the haggii have eaten them 

artjak

My gourmet clients in London asked me if I was growing peas for their shoots! Not b.....y likely was my response; after all the effort of getting them to germinate I want buckets full of peas, not one salad of pea sprouts.

Wish I hadn't started this topic now!!! Think I shall try them in pots - worst scenarion I can use the compost!