Pea Trials 2010

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Remind me next year that the ‘Oregon Sugar Pod‘ peas are going to need better supports than the split bamboo poles I stuck in around them before overwintering. They have grown at least a foot up and over the side of the raised bed and another two feet back down to the ground. (They are growing in the old potato bed, so it’s deep.) The packet says to expect 28″ vines but I’m getting a tape measure out for these guys. They have done well, and are a sweet treat when you’re working out in the garden, but they are getting a little moldy on the shady side after all the rain we’ve been having. We lost some pods to frost but the vines held on and continued to grow and produce flowers and new pods. I will definitely grow them through the winter again.

The other side of the same bed has ‘Cascadia‘ snap peas, which haven’t been nearly as productive. Welcome, certainly, but hard to find even though the vines look good and there seems to be no shortage of flowers. The pods are harder to spot, and some of them have been lost to a sort of rot that seems to start at the flower end in all this wet weather. I am keeping them picked and hoping they will make us more peas when the weather clears. I have another patch of them starting across the garden.

That patch of ‘Cascadias‘ is growing along with the last of my ‘Sugar Daddy‘ seeds. I have two plantings of ‘Sugar Daddy‘ growing in the center of this year’s potato bed, the ones I started in the ground and the ones I started in the house the same day and then transplanted. Unless transplant shock is a bigger setback than I anticipate, I’ll be starting my pea seeds indoors from now on. You should see what we have to go through defending pea seeds and shoots in the garden! I have nets and cages, row cover and bird tape, cat-attractors and anti-squirrel devices. The Pisello Nano, “dwarf peas,” ‘Piccolo Provenzale‘ I planted today are under glass to help them get established without being molested.

I also started a patch of ‘Amish Snap‘ peas from Seed Savers Exchange. These vines are predicted to grow 5-6’ tall and I put in the supports to hold them. I also have Pisello Rampicante (which I think means “Climbing peas”) ‘Telephono‘ peas starting under one of the teepees we used last year for beans. The kids planted seeds and then we were hit with crazy winter storms, so I filled in with transplants I had seeded indoors again. And there are seeds left in the packet which I may start tomorrow. They are growing alongside another Italian climbing pea variety called ‘Gigante Svizzero‘ or Swiss Giant even though the packet says this is an old French variety. It takes an international cast of thousands to grow peas around here. ;-) These are new for us, but they look like something in between a snow pea and a snap pea. I’m curious to see how they do.

And, of course, there are the ‘Freezonian‘ peas as well. I am trying to start a good-sized patch of them in the back garden this year. They will get a little shade there as things warm up, which might help them hang on longer if it’s warm.

That gives us ten varieties to try:

Snow Peas – ‘Oregon Sugar Pods’ and ‘Gigante Svizzero
Snap Peas – ‘Cascadia,’ ‘Sugar Daddy‘ and ‘Amish Snap
Shelling Peas, dwarf – ‘Petit Pois,’ ‘Laxton Progress No. 9,’ ‘Freezonian‘ and ‘Piccolo Provenzale
Shelling Peas, pole – ‘Telephono

Oh! And I am still hoping to get organic ‘Green Arrow‘ seeds from Seed Savers. They just looked so perfect in the picture. *Sigh* I know it takes a ton of vines and the right conditions for a home vegetable gardener to enjoy a big ol’ bowl of fresh peas swimming in butter, but I can still hope, can’t I?

4 thoughts on “Pea Trials 2010

  1. Pingback: Suburban Hobby Farmer Growing Peas with Growing Kids

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  4. I’m planning to try shelling peas and sugar-snap peas this year too. Forgetting the names of the varieties just now (and the catalog is downstairs), but they are all “bush” or small varieties, with vines of about 18″ to 24″. We’ll see. I’ve not really done peas before, so I got a climbing gizmo to support them. We’ll see. So you’re starting the seeds now? I’ve been sitting here pondering the timing…

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