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Hi i am a newbie and want to start with something i have been told is easy, so peas it is.
Question : what kind of pea seeds do i buy as there is so many different one to choose from. What one is the best ?
Hi figleaves - who told you that peas are easy? Mice will eat the seeds and slugs will eat the shoots - but maybe you don't have mice and slugs But whatever you grow there will be trials and tribulations - part of the fun of gardening so don't let me put you off.
The best way to start is to grow something you like to eat - that gives you a sense of purpose. So if you like peas, which sort do you like? Ordinary garden peas that you take out of the pods, or the types where you eat the pods as well like mange tout and sugar snap?
What's your veg patch like? How much room have you got? Some peas grow quite tall and needs lots of support from canes and netting - other varieties are not so tall and not quite so demanding of support.
Lots of info here to have a look at http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/basics/techniques/growfruitandveg_growingpeas1.shtml
and please don't hesitate to come back and ask us lots more questions.
There's nothing as rewarding as eating something you've grown.
Hi Fig, we used greenhurst shaft, or shaft greenhurst not sure, they were stunning, loads of pods full of sweet peas,they need decent support as they grow quite strong and about 4 foot tall,we also dipped the seeds in paraffin to stop the mice eating them, one or two were still dug up but not eaten i just pushed em back in, the year before without dipping in paraffin our allotmenteer neighbours lost almost all to the mice ,old but good trick and it works. Alan
My favourite is Kelvedon Wonder, reliable, lovely sweet flavour, freezes well, not too tall, but does need some support.
My mother used to soak the peas in paraffin before sowing to keep mice away. I don't find that necessary, but then I have a cat! I'm afraid I do use slug pellets, which are a controversial subject, but I find that the slugs shrivel quickly and aren't edible for birds.
What about some other veg too? Nothing venture, nothing gain! Early potatoes are easy, plant some mint in a pot (it's invasive) to go with them. Home grown tomatoes taste better, buy a few plants in May. I like everlasting spinach, doesn't bolt so easily and lasts, pick when you want.
Alan typed quicker than me! Hurst Greenshaft are lovely too.
I grew hurst greenshaft last year, mine got much taller than the packet suggested so make the supports higher than you think they will need.
No problems with mice or slugs, I think I had one seed fail to show in an area a cat had been digging and I had to replant some of the seeds (not eaten just left on top). I had terrible cat troubles so ended up making chicken wire covers for my raised beds to protect things while they were small, whether that deterred mice or not I couldn't say, they could probably have dug under the beds.
I like firm sweetish garden type peas rather than marrowfat types and the hursts were perfect for me.
Swings and roundabouts Boater - the cat probably kept the mice away
The best and cheapest peas that we ever and still do grow are a packet of dried peas from the supermarket cost 30p for more than you will need.They produced the best peas for my clay soil and they tasty as any other.
Thank you so much for all your replies, i shall take everything that has been said on board and go seed shopping
If you like mange tout (aka snap peas, sugar peas) where you eat the whole pod, you grow them just like ordinary peas but the crop is quite a lot better, mainly because you do eat the whole thing.
I didn't find peas easy when I started growing vegetables. Something ate all the seeds before they even came up. If I were doing it again, I think I would take the GW advice and plant the seeds in compost filled toilet roll centres, and wait for the plants to come up before transplanting them. Not least because peas always seem to me to be not the most productive vegetables - ie. take a lot of space for not as much return as other veg. So sowing direct might lead to spaces where seeds didn't germinate or got stolen. At least by putting the plants out yourself you would have avoided some of the pitfalls and made the most of the space with minimal root disturbance. The other thing is that when my dad grew them, we seemed to spend ages shelling them, and there was nothing worse than finding the odd maggot. That said, they were delicious, but if I were you, I would plant some other, easier, less labour intensive stuff as well, because it would be a shame if you had difficulties with peas and it put you off.
It is difficult to beat a frozen pea if you are faced with total loss as above.
I grow mangetout sown in a section of guttering each year filled with multipurpose. These are allowed to germinate and grow until about 4 inches high in my greenhouse. Then hardened off, before sliding out of the guttering into their alloted position in the allotment. These are covered with fine mesh to keep the birds away. The empty guttering is refilled and the process is repeated . So we get to pick mangetout throughout the summer. If too many they are frozen for the winter.
This method can be employed for ordinary peas, but dwarf varieties are better if you only have small in height cloches.
There is nothing to beat a fresh young pea, eaten raw from the pod, you can't experience it unless you grow it. Worth any of the bothers of growing peas. But if you want something with hardly any waste then I recommend mange-tout peas (really good in stir fries) and runner beans.