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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Irish Gardeners Forum Home -> Vegetable growing, fruit and allotments in Ireland

How to Grow Peas in Irelands Vegetable Gardens.

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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:05 am    Post subject: How to Grow Peas in Irelands Vegetable Gardens. Reply with quote

How to Grow Peas in Irelands Vegetable Gardens.
By Terry Blackburn

Growing peas gives you the choice of climbing or dwarf varieties; there are so many varieties that peas can be sown at any time from February to November depending on the variety.

Choose early varieties for sowing in February and March, main crop varieties for sowing in April and May, late varieties for sowing in June or even later, and winter-growing varieties for sowing in October and November. In the south early varieties may be picked as early as June, and the last of the late varieties mid October. Those varieties which grow over winter can be picked in early May of the following year.

Sugar peas (mangetout) and petit pois are grown in exactly the same way. Freshly picked, young sweet and tender, garden peas, are a feast, which can be eaten just straight from the pod. As a vegetable to accompany a meal the rich colour add visual pleasure helping to stimulate our appetites and they can be include in many main course dishes.

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Soil Preparation
Four weeks before sowing, add well-rotted compost and manure into the soil to a depth of 9 in. (228mm) at the rate of a bucketful to the yard. Two weeks before sowing rake in a top dressing of fish manure or bone meal at a rate of 4 oz. (120g) to the sq. yd; alternatively, rake in a mixture of 2 oz.(60g) carbonate of lime and 1 oz. (30g) sulphate of potash to the sq. yd.

For early sowing choose a well-drained area, where the ground has been well prepared to provide aeration. Peas must not be grown in the same plot as in the previous year. Avoid sowing seeds in soils that are wet and cold as they can sometimes be attacked by fungus, then germination is poor.

To sow the seeds make 2 in.(50mm) flat-bottomed drills with a hoe. Allow the seeds 3 in. (76mm) of space between each. The distance between the drills will depend on the variety that is being sown.

The width between the drills is equal to the height of the plants; 4 ft. (120cm) high varieties should be spaced 4 ft. (120cm) apart, 1-½ ft. (45cm) varieties should be 1 ½ ft. (45cm) apart. Give the plants protection from birds by placing small twigs over the soil, or use black cotton stranded from pegs close to the ground.

. Pea plants climbing up a length of plastic netting, photo / pic / image.

General Care
When the seedlings are about 3 in. (76mm) high, they should be encouraged to climb, this can be done by erecting posts at the end of each row, between these fasten wire to which plastic netting can then be attached that should run the full length of the row. As soon as the flowers appear the crop should be given an adequate amount of water in order for the pods to grow plump and juicy and to prevent them becoming stunted. Mulching is a good idea because it helps to retain moisture.

Pick the pods frequently when they are ready to encourage even more pods. If you are growing Mange tout varieties pick before the pods have swollen. Pick the peas as near to the time you intend to cook them as possible to retain the sweetness, few of the ones that I grow get the chance to come into the kitchen for they are generally eaten on site, (lost remembered days of childhood). When the plants have finished fruiting, cut off the stems and put them onto the compost heap, allow the roots to remain in the ground so that they can fix nitrogen into the soil.

Terry Blackburn. Internet Marketing Consultant, living in South Shields in the North-East of England. Author and Producer of blog Author of "Your Perfect Lawn," a 90 Page eBook devoted to Lawn Preparation, Lawn Care and Maintenance. Find it at

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Last edited by James Kilkelly on Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love growing peas. They are a very easy and reliable crop, and delicious too! I grow tall climbing varieties in the central beds of the polytunnel, and this year I'm growing dwarf bush varieties along the side beds next to the plastic.

Another way to harvest pea plants is to scatter out your leftover seeds, rake in, when the shoots are about 3 inches high, cut the tender leafy crop and use in salads.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My pea plants are shooting up and I think it's time for them to be planted out. Has anyone supported them with wire mesh? I was reading about using wire mesh for support and since I have some mesh at home I reakon I'll use this. I'd just like to see do other people using this for support and what they think?

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure about enclosing them like they seem to be in that need to be able to get to every part of the plant to find all the pods for picking.
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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We got rid of a few big trees this year, so I've used large branches pushed into the soil as the supports - reduce, reuse, recycle and all that. They have the added benefit of keeping birds, the cats, and even the dog from trampling/digging in that area. Plus it looks prettier than mesh Very Happy
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