Tiny pea production

heirloomjunkie(5a)February 9, 2011

Last year, I planted a row of shelling peas. They tasted amazing, and I often ate them right off the vine. The problem was, I barely got enough all season for one dinner. The plants seemed healthy, but the production was just not there.

My trellis was only about two feet tall, but I assumed the vines would grow out instead of up because of it. Was this height the problem? Should I do it differently this year? Other people I talk with have trouble with their peas too, so I'm stumped.


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Depends on the variety. I grow mostly the dwarf types with no trellising. Other than that, English peas do like a neutral pH. They are more sensitive to acid soils than many vegetables and like all fruiting plants need phosphate (P)

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 1:54PM
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Beautiful peas, dill! I'm definately interested in the dwarf types. My soil is just about neutral as of last year. Would adding phosphate help? And how close together do you plant them? It seemes like mine were kind of far apart.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 1:03PM
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I use pea plates in a mechanical planter, which puts them about 1 inch apart. Only a soil test will tell you, if you need additional phosphate. I just use a 1-2-1 N-P-K ratio granular fertizer.

Willet Wonder

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 6:27PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Peas, even when healthy and well grown, just don't produce that much. When I see people saying they are excited to have planted a dozen pea plants I always think they are heading for disappointment. You really need a lot of plants to get more than few meals. Plus they mature at different times (unless they are a variety bred for commercial harvesting). So you need plenty to get a good picking.

You say 'Last year, I planted a row of shelling peas' but you don't say how long your row was or how many peas in that row. A 3 foot row would have about about 75 pea plants. Look how thickly farmerdill's are sown. Were yours like that?

Another way of getting more for you effort is to make the pods into soup and to eat some of the shoots.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 6:58AM
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Flora, good point. My row was about eight feet long, and there was a good couple of inches between plants. And by row, I mean one single plant width wise.

Farmerdill's do seem very nice and bunched together. And he planted tons width wise. What is the standard for peas? How close together, and how many width wise in a row? Now that I know all this, my last year's planting technique seems laughable. :)


    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 11:08AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Farmerdill says his are an inch apart. I usually do mine 2 - 3 inches apart each way in bands 6 inches wide but I do mine by hand. The link gives you some info. But bear in mind it's for UK climate so the dates will probably be different for you.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sowing peas

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 12:34PM
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Just for comparisons, the pictured Willet Wonders were fall sown (thanksgiving) in my kitchen garden. Planted a double row, at 12 inch separation, using 1 1/2 lbs of seed. That planting yielded 24 qts of shelled green peas.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 6:10PM
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