Does anything say summertime more than picking full, fresh peas straight from the pod? Rich in vitamin A, B1 and C as well as folate, iron and calcium, snacking on perfect peas in the garden or allotment is simply a delight!
Sowing peas into toilet roll holders is a great way of ensuring they have a long, healthy root run before you plant them out but if you have not yet sow any peas, it is not too late to direct sow them straight into the ground for a harvest this year.
Peas will do best in a sunny, sheltered spot in the garden but try not to grow them where they will get scorched all day. Peas are a hungry crop so they will do well in soil improved with manure or compost.
As peas are climbing plants, it’s a good idea to put a support in place for them to grow up, before you sow them into the ground. A simple wigwam made from bamboo canes or a trellis or netting to grow up will be great for them.
There is really nothing to sowing peas once you have picked the perfect spot and have the support in place. Simply make a drill in the soil along the bottom of your support, water the soil, pop in two or three peas around the base of each support if sowing directly or dig a hole deep enough to accommodate the root run if planting out and cover over the drill.
Remember to keep peas well-watered as they are a thirsty crop and they’ll be craving water in dry spells and once they start to flower.
As peas grow upwards, they are a great crop to grow if you are short of ground space. You can even grow them in a pot and that might be great way to give them a go this year if it is your first attempt.
Some varieties can grow up to 2.4m so growing peas adds height and interest in the vegetable garden or affords added privacy if you situate them in the right spot.
Pick peas straight from the plant when the pods look full and healthy – you’ll know they are ready when you start salivating at the sight of them.
You can sow peas all year round on your windowsill to harvest the leaves and this is a great way to use up any peas you have left over from this year’s sowings. In the depths of winter, the leaves give a great pea taste when added to salads, scrambled eggs and sandwiches.