|Plastic rain gutter + compost + peas|
Real spring weather has yet to settle in here, but seed sowing and general preparation carry on all the same, in anticipation of the season finally turning.
|Keep the compost moist |
as they sprout.
All you need is a few sections of plastic guttering, filled up with compost. Quite a bit of compost is needed, so definitely use homemade stuff if you can. Don't use super long sections - they have to be easy to transport around. End caps can be helpful in keeping the compost in; they can be removed at the sliding stage.
|Slide them in! A knock against |
a post can help if they're stuck.
When it's time to plant them out, the real beauty of this method becomes apparent. Dig a shallow trench alongside your pea fence (or whatever arrangement you have in place for the peas to climb up). Then just slide the whole lot out from the guttering into the trench. This means minimal disturbance to the seedling roots and greatly reduced transplant shock.
|Tender shoots are a terrible |
temptation to birds.
We usually plant peas for podding on one side and mangetout on the other side of the fence to avoid confusion at what stage to pick the pods! Once the peas are ripe and plentiful we collect as much seed as possible. Some of it can be sown again straight away, for pea shoots if winter comes early or for a second crop if not.
|Can't wait to see them |
looking like this again.
Last year that yielded us our first peas on the 20th of April, a real treat to start the season. It might be a little later than that this time around, but they're flowering already.
|Overwintering in the greenhouse: early peas.|