Sunday 1 May 2016

Slow progress with the peas

Well, I suppose the good news is that we (unlike most parts of the country) have not had snow this week. Hail, yes. Wind, yes. Freezing temperatures, yes. But no snow. Phew. But the plants in my garden are growing very slowly, and who can blame them. It's hardly like Spring just yet.

My peas are the classic example. I had been hoping that by now they would be romping away up those pea-sticks I gave them, but No, they are still just a few inches tall.

Some of the earlier-planted row are beginning to make a few tentative steps towards climbing, and I have done my best to encourage them by tying them to the sticks with some soft string:

Others are sending out speculative tendrils, looking to support themselves upright in the face of the seemingly incessant wind.

I had a shock the other day when I saw that some of the plants had turned blue. I thought it must be caused by the cold - but them I remembered that some of them are "Desiree" purple-podded peas, and their foliage is purple-ish too!

"Desiree" on the right; "Terrain" next to the metal pole

Spring is the worst time of year for badger-inflicted damage, so I have protected my peas with chicken wire. It hasn't been 100% successful, because the blessed things still manage to get their snouts in at the corners!

One of the pea plants looks like this:

I'm not sure what has caused the browning of the leaves. It could be frost I suppose, but if that is the case, why has it only affected one plant and not the others?

You may remember that most of my peas are ones that I grew in pots prior to transplanting them. I did however sow two complete rows direct in the soil of the raised bed. Only a very small number of these ever germinated (I think it was 5), and they look very weak plants. You can see two of them here:

One is at the base of the stick at left of photo, and the other is near the stem of the purple "Desiree" plant in the centre. Pathetic, aren't they? If the peas go on to produce a decent crop I shall certainly be using the "sow in a pot and then transplant" method again next time.

If I had more space, this is the time when I would be sowing another batch of peas, to extend my harvest, but everywhere is either full or "spoken for". One of the big new raised beds is still empty, but it's soon going to have beans in it. ["Soon" is a relative term, you understand...]


  1. The same here. Funny, peas germinate at 4°C and prefers somewhat colder weather. That's why we sow it early in the year to avoid the summer heat. I guess, this constant changes of the temperature slowed down the growth. April was warmer than average and now this frost and cold.

  2. Everything is really slow here as well. That pea had been bitten by the frost I should say, I lost a few plants in the greenhouse this week which was a little annoying but it has been really cold.

  3. I think you're right, it's the wind! My tallest plant is barely 9 inches and they were all raised indoors and hardened off at anobout 6 inches.

    I've given up trying to sow directly into the bed, I don't think I've ever had single seed make it to a plant!

  4. Not really any snow here either just a few flakes.

  5. Winter redux, how depressing. The weather here has been alternating between cold/damp/windy and hot/sunny. I'm either shading the spring veggies to protect them from the sun or uncovering them to warm them up, and the same goes for me! Hope it warms up for you soon so your garden can take off and grow.

  6. I sowed my peas almost 2 weeks ago and a couple are just starting to push through the soil. All this cold weather is definitely having an impact as usually they only take 10 days to come up.

  7. Interesting, I've also found my peas to be slow starting. I'm hoping they'll like this warm, wet weather.


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