Thursday 24 January 2013

The Peashooter

I have given up trying to grow peas in my garden. But I haven't completely given up growing peas.

Peas never do well in my garden, and they always suffer from Powdery Mildew. Last year I grew "Boogie" which is allegedly "Very resistant to Powdery Mildew", but obviously not resistant enough... The "Purple Podded Desiree" produced more of a crop than most varieties I have tried, but it was still a meagre harvest - and I felt that the peas themsleves were quite floury even when young. Not the best result.

Sorting out my box of seeds the other day I found 3 part-used packets of peas and was just about to throw them out when I changed my mind and decided to grow them for pea-shoots, which make a small but very nice salad ingredient. My method is simply this: line a small plastic tray with several thicknesses of paper towel, moisten the paper and sprinkle the peas on top. Put them in a warm place - in my case a windowsill above a radiator. Then it is just a case of adding a little more water every now and then, and in a few days the peas will begin to sprout.

Since my peas have now begun to germinate, I have got out my macro lens...

The green peas (above) are ones called "Premium" and they have germinated a bit quicker than the darker Purple Podded Desiree ones, which are only just getting started.

These will be ready to cut when the shoots are about 3 or 4 inches tall, hopefully in another week or 10 days. If I remember, I'll photograph them at harvest-time.

P.S. Thanks to those of you who contributed suggestions towards my Survival Challenge. Some interesting ideas...


  1. Interesting that you just sprout the peas with no compost.

    Have you tried just sprouting marrowfat peas?

    1. Sue, No I haven't tried sprouting Marrowfat peas, but I have today been out and bought some: 89p for 500g at Morrisons. That's good value compared with seeds from say Suttons!

  2. My peas didn't do very well last year, but I shall be growing them again this year. Nothing quite like fresh peas picked and eaten straight from the pod.

  3. Pretty peas. I do love fresh pea sprouts. The first time I had them I was shocked how good they were. But I've never done them myself. I ought to save more seed.

  4. I will be hugely interested if these grow to about three to four inches without the compost or sterilized soil. If they do I am chucking the way I grow them!! ))) I love when my blog friends experiment!

  5. I am not much of a sprout person(just don't know much about them) but I am looking forward to seeing them when you harvest.

  6. Isn't it funny that you can grow nearly everything else well but successful peas elude you. Conversely, the one thing that always does well for me is the pea. For pea shoots, however, I just buy those dried peas from the supermarket and they shoot just fine at a fraction of the cost.

  7. I found if you pre-soak the peas for about 8 hours they germinate quicker.
    I've never tried growing them without compost, but I'd be interested to see if you can get multiple harvests (I can get about 3 good harvests before they start losing the taste) using your method.

    As for using Marrowfat peas (the same ones as you bought from Morrisons) I found them to actually be better for this use as the shoots and leaves where larger when compared to Sutton's twinkle peas (marked as great for peashoots).
    In a taste test they're wasn't any noticeable difference.


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