That rain that was forecast for yesterday all rolled up at once today, which was a bit of a menace for anyone wanting to spend some time out of doors – e.g. anyone wanting to go to an allotment.
So with a visit to the Hill was ruled out, I turned to assess the peas for which I want to grow next year, so I cast a critical eye (& tastebuds) over the varieties grown.
I have deliberately sowed only climbing (& old fashioned heritage) varieties of peas – I think that as most peas have to have at least some support anyway, so why not make those supports a bit taller & grow a higher yielding taller variety? With the taller plants flowering & setting over a longer period of time, there’s less chance of a glut, either.
Unfortunately, the supports have not proved to be the greatest success – although the frames have been great, the sisal strings from the top of the frames to soil had a tendency to rot at the ground, so they haven’t given good support to the pea plants – next year I might use netting instead.
The other problem was the pigeons eating the pea plants – although they did recover in time, & oddly, they didn’t touch the purple podded peas at all. The later the peas were planted out, the less pigeon damage they suffered – but I think that I’ll have to devise a way to net the plants until they start to crop next year.
So, to the all important taste – there’s no disguising that the two purple podded varieties, although a treat to look at, were not good to eat straight off the pod. They are fine once cooked, though, & I’ll try them as mushy peas, too.
The only ones I haven’t tasted are the salmon flowered kindly sent by Kath, & are growing & are in flower at mums at the moment.
Robinson have long curved pods (the curve makes them a pain to shell!) & tasty peas.
Gladstone are also long curvy pods, with big tasty peas, even when older.
Ne plus ultra have flat wide pods with delicious sweet peas – out of the all, the one to grow again!
Newick have been the most prolific, great when young, but the peas aren’t that sweet when older.
Pilot are sweet, but not enormously prolific (I noticed this last year too)
So – what for next year? Definitely climbing peas again – possibly Robinson, definitely ne plus ultra, possibly newick – & on my wish list, a purple eating pea, & a mange tout…