Tuesday 7 January 2014

Peashoot progress

A few days before Christmas, I sowed some peas in a couple of little plastic containers to produce some peashoots for use as a salad ingredient:

Well some time has passed, and the peas have grown:

Whilst at first sight impressive, these are actually no good for peashoots. I used an inappropriate variety of pea, and they have produced big strong tendrils, but almost none of the succulent leafy shoots I was looking for:

The peas I used were from a pack of "Marrowfat" peas bought in a supermarket. Marrowfat peas are simply ones that have been left to mature on the vine, in the pod, and then dried for long-term storage rather than eaten young and green. When you buy peas like this in a supermarket they are intended as a soup ingredient, not for planting! The supermarket is not going to tell the customer what variety the peas are, because 99.9% of their customers are not interested in this. The peas in my pack were evidently a semi-leafless variety.

Anyway, I decided to make the best of a bad job, and have planted the peas in a couple of big pots filled with compost, and have put them outside, protected by one of my plastic mini-greenhouses, so I might actually get a very early harvest of pea-pods.  Here you can (just) see them, inside a wind-swept, rain-lashed greenhouse heavily weighted-down with bricks to stop it being blown away:

The greenhouse in question sits on the sheltered side of our house, literally right outside a sliding door that opens out from our Living-room into the garden, and I can see it from where I sit.

I think the rest of that packet of peas might have to be relegated to the kitchen...


  1. That's a shame they turned out to be marrowfat peas and not suitable for munching on the shoots! Would ordinary garden pea varieties be more suitable instead?

  2. That is a shame, I have heard of other people having success with using marrow fat peas for pea shoots. Not tried it myself as I dislike peas so it would be highly unlikely I would enjoy eating the shoots.

  3. That's disappointing but good luck with early pea harvests

  4. What a shame. I usually sow Sugar Ann for pea shoots, and also for sugar snaps. Let's hope you get some early pods to make up for it.

  5. Here, we use to spread the seeds on the high raised beds then covered it with plastic tunnel on it. Your method look so interesting

  6. I suppose it's that old story...you win some and you lose some.
    Good luck with the early peas...fingers crossed.
    I'd have more than my fingers crossed with that greenhouse here...I'd have to bolt it to the floor although saying that I've had a perfect day with sunshine since the early hours. I've even pottered about, weeded and checked out all the new shoots!
    It's very encouraging ;D

  7. Good idea putting them outside. I am willing to bet you get a very early crop!

    Thomas Laxton is a variety that is recommended for micro greens or shoots. Have tried them this year.

  8. We're growing pea shoots at the moment too, also from marrowfat peas. Like yours, I can't exactly describe the shoots as tender and leafy, but we're going to chop the tops off for the first harvest and then hope this stimulates some softer growth for the subsequent harvests. Fingers crossed!


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