I should say something more about peas. If you’re following this you’ll already know I’ve talked about growing peas in raised beds as well. A friend looked around my garden the other day and asked me if I went to bed dreaming about peas – well no, but I do like them and I suppose I have planted quite a few.
I have planted them before and haven’t had any disasters with them –unlike tomatoes, which so far I have never managed to bring to harvest before the dreaded blight got them.
As for peas, well I find them easy to grow. I have found all brands to be fine regardless of price and I’ve also had some great success growing peas from a Bachelors Marrowfat Pea box – they grew into beautifully sweet marrowfat peas. That’s why I think it’s always worth experimenting in the garden – you never know what happens and it hasn’t cost you a whole lot if your seeds don’t grow.
This year, to celebrate our new house and garden I have planted peas in a few different places and it will be good to learn which of these places proves to be the safest home for peas. Here are three of my pea locations so far.
THE RAISED BED FENCE
This is what I call the wire fence behind the raised beds. I thought this would be a handy place to grow peas, and it is, if like me, you forget about the prevailing, westerly sea-sourced, hurricane style ,Galway wind (too late – I’ve planted them, so we’ll just have to wait and see.)
If you have a fence to plant them against then it’s easy peasy (sorry). Just make little lines with your dibber, or the end of a pen, or a stick, in front of your fence, then just drop the peas in – a couple of inches apart. Stick some canes along your planted lines and lean them against and thread them into the fence – or, if you’re organized, you can do that first but I’m not, so I didn’t. (Note to self – need to think about providing pea shelter.)
RAISED BED NUMBER 1
I had to be more organized here because there is no fence for support, so the canes have to go in while planting the peas. I made little structures with 5 canes, tied them at the top with string, and planted the peas around the bottom of the canes.
PEAS ON TREES
I also used some branches like this one on the left, here and there. I like using branches because peas-on-trees look so much better and more natural than pea-on-canes every time – when it come to the looks department.
Well, this is the newest area to be uncovered in the wilderness garden. This is a continuation of the patio slope and leads from the patio through a gate to the back of the house and the raised bed area. I chose it for peas because it is sunny and sheltered (yes, I remembered this time). This area is used just as a pathway that leads to the raised beds – so it would otherwise go to waste.
It wasn’t too weedy so I managed to clear it in an afternoon from my chair. The bank above it is literally overgrown with hay and grass so we covered it with weed cover to kill the growth and prepare for next year when we hope to plant trees. By the way, a nut orchard or fruit orchard are the dreams at the moment but we shall see. It wasn’t too weedy so I managed to clear it in an afternoon from my chair. The bank above it is literally overgrown with hay and grass so we covered it with weed cover to kill the growth and prepare for next year when we hope to plant trees as well as peas.
Why so many peas? Well, you can never, ever have too many peas for a start and I honestly don’t feel it’s really excessive. You have to allow for a great deal of peas to go missing between harvest and home because they are really tasty when both raw and fresh, and a lot of them seem to fall on the ground and bounce into your mouth on the way to the kitchen. Also what seems to be a lot isn’t all that much by the time you shell them, pop them and round them up.
Peas are easy to freeze, easy to cook and as well as being a nice side dish you can mix them in with rice and make my favourite –rice and peas, you can throw them in soups, casseroles etc. If anyone’s got any tasty easy recipes – please feel free to post in the comments but the emphasis is on easy – I don’t like cooking.
THE MANY USES FOR SMALL CHILDREN
Some people say growing peas is too much hassle because you have to pod them but I say that’s what small children are for. If you don’t have any handy you can always borrow them from your exhausted friends – just promise to return their kids tired and ready for sleep.
If you really can’t lay your hands on some small children then you can simply plonk down in front of the telly and mindlessly pod the peas while watching your favourite show. I find peas work best with thrillers – you can add your own sound effects!
DOWN WITH SMUG
If you find yourself eating them as you pod, well so what? Better than snacking on biccies, crisps, and my beloved Maltesers, and other stuff that doesn’t grow in the garden. In fact, if all our snacking consisted of stuff we grew ourselves we’d be in amazingly great health and I’m sure we wouldn’t miss the above mentioned biccies, crisps, Maltesers, and other stuff !
Before you run away I’m only joking – you haven’t find yourself on one of those ‘never eat anything that comes from a packet’ blogs written by simpering Sally Smug and her horrible husband, Steve Smug – you know the blogs I mean, there’s millions of them, and they all come with smug mug shots of a gruesome twosome smirking in their pristine house.
PEAS AND MALTESERS
No, none of that here, I like growing peas and I would love to grow Maltesers I just haven’t figured out how to grow them yet but when I do, I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime more about my other vegetables here.