Monday, 2 July 2012

All washed out

You all know that I am growing some purple-podded Desiree peas this year...


So why is it that some of the peas have decided they will not be purple-podded at all? Look at the next couple of photos. Doesn't it look as if the rain has washed the paint off some of the pods??




Indeed some of the plants have decided to produce exclusively green pods. They have the same purple flowers, which fade to blue as they wither, but then green pods appear instead of purple ones.


Anyway, I won't grumble too much, because there are lots of purple-podded ones too, and the plants have grown huge and they are laden with pods.


I think the fact that the pods are a different colour to the foliage will make them easier to identify, and less of them will be missed. I haven't yet picked any of them, but I'm hopeful of a good crop.

Another crop that has been seriously affected by the awful weather is the Radishes.


When they were very tiny we had some torrential rain, and this washed all the seedlings out of their compost so that the roots were exposed. They never managed to re-establish themselves and I don't think many of them will produce anything edible.


One or two of the plants in the corners of the box, where they were a little less exposed, may be useable:




It has not been a good year for Radishes from my point of view. The first batch bolted in the really hot weather we had at the end of May, and now this.

I also think that maybe the Radishes don't like the compost I have used. Their foliage certainly looks anything but lush, and it is rather pale, so maybe it doesn't have enough nitrogen in it.


Lots of people have been writing about this sort of thing recently, so I know I'm not alone. I believe that commercial compost-producers are turning out inferior products these days. They want to produce huge quantities of compost in a very short space of time, and I'm sure they use poor materials. The compost I have been buying contains a lot of rather dry straw-like stuff. Domestic composters know that you need a good balance between the Greens and the Browns if you are to make good compost, and I just think the commerical producers often get it wrong.

15 comments:

  1. We once grew purple podded peas and had the same thing happen re the pod colouring. I'll be interested to see what you make of the flavour.

    I've tried radishes a few times in tubs of compost and it has never been successful - lots of leaf hardly any root.

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  2. Those peas look exactly like my Shiraz mangetout ones. The first few of mine were green but now they are all purple and very attractive. I've had loads already raw and stir fried, but tried popping them in boiling water for a minute and the colour ran straight out turning them muddy brown and the water turquoise!

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    Replies
    1. Isn't it funny how that happens? Why don't they stay purple?

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  3. I tried to grow the golden podded peas one year on the assumption that they would be easier to find. I still missed a lot. I think your purple ones are easier to spot though.

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  4. Shame the colours washing out on the peas. I've not grown radish in compost before just straight into soil. Agree on the compost - most commercial multi-purpose is poor. I use my own for the bulk jobs and concentrate use of John Innes where it's needed, pricier compost but used wisely it's worth it I think.

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  5. I grew purple podded peas before but don't remember getting any green ones. I also grew yellow ones that year. They actually grew pretty well here and I have some seeds saved somewhere.
    My radishes did the same thing this year. Only a few in one corner made bulbs. We had a lot of rain too.

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  6. I have never seen purple podded peas. I guess they are pretty, but not as appealing as the green ones. Are they as tasty? I know next to nothing about peas. My parents grew lots of peas in Ky and they were always green and the pods were big and the peas very round and pretty. Here in Florida, the natives grow black-eyed peas and call them just "peas" and cook the pod,too (more like beans really)and they are delicious. Do you grow black-eyed peas in GB?

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  7. I grow radishes in my raised beds at home which have a lot of recycled bought in compost previously used for my container potatoes.Have had good results this year,with the rain and being able to thin them out well from the start( as I now have more space with my new allotment) both helping I think.
    Have tried things like radish and cut and come lettuce in containers before but they don't seem to like the confinement and lack of quick drainage?

    Will be interesting to see if the radish on my allotment manage to fight their way through the clay.

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  8. So now the truth comes out...you have had a summer after all!
    Back in May eh? ;D
    I liked your description of the rain washing the purple from the pods...very artistic.
    Whether purple or green it looks like you're in for a bumper crop!

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  9. The compost (or potting mix as its called here) is often pretty awful quality too. I always buy the ones without added fertiliser and add my own which seems to work much better. I suspect the fertiliser they often add is either old or really poor quality because the same brands produce much better results when you add your own.

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  10. I suppose at least you have some peas but it's a shame they're not all purple. My purple French beans did a similar thing last year. Your poor radishes too! My beetroot are the same. Will the peas themselves be green or purple tinged?

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    1. Caroline, I think the peas will be green. I'll let you know soon...

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  11. I had the same problem with the radishes I sowed earlier on in the year. I haven't bothered trying again.

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  12. Sad post but stunning header.

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  13. peas are lovely, too bad about the radishes...

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