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Good Year for Peas

Posted by digit ID/WA (My Page) on
Tue, Jul 6, 10 at 20:02

Here near the 49th parallel, it was a cool spring. Only one day did the thermometer get above 80. There were 3 days since the soltice that were 80. However, the highest temperature so far in July has been 71 -- until today!

It has been a good year for peas! I just hope I can harvest them before they burn up in what is supposed to soon be 90!

I'm holding the camera above my head - trying unsuccessfully to show that there are 3 beds but the sugar snaps, in the middle bed, are 6' tall! I'll be able to start picking this week.

The Ol' Pea-Picker

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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Good Year for Peas

LOL! Well, let me show you mine for comparison, Digit!

That would be five THREE FOOT rows! The one variety got a lot taller than the othersbut its the one thats producing the least! Go figure!

Do you pick all of yours by yourself? I cant even imagine that! Do you sell most of them?

Ive actually never figured this out, but the peas are the one thing I have that really dont seem to be much phased by the heat down here! Weve had temps from the mid 80's to the upper 90's much of the time for a few weeks now, and the peas are happily chugging along. Im at least partly convinced that keeping them picked regularly helps to keep them producing, even when it gets pretty hot out. I do SO love peasraw! As a matter of fact, I wanted some cooked last nite, and I used some of my store bought frozen, petite onesbarely heated to hot! I thought about picking some of my own to eat, but I like them too much raw to pick them and cook them! Besides which, even if I did try to do that, Id wind up eating all of them anyway while I was shelling them to cook! Theyd just never make it into the pot!

I wish I had room for more of themlike everything elsebut Im really, really, really happy to just have "some" that I can pick and eat immediately while the sugar is still sugar! And, oh, my, are they ever sweet this year. I think Ive finally found some varieties to put on my "play it again" list!

Happy pea-ing!

Skybird


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RE: Good Year for Peas

Posted by skybird . . . Do you pick all of yours by yourself? I cant even imagine that! Do you sell most of them?

DW is a much better pea picker than me. I can keep up with her tho'!!! Problem is, I miss 1/3rd of the peas. Have you ever noticed that a pea pod is about the same shape and exactly the same color as a pea leaf? She has to circle around and pick after poor olde me . . .

Yep, probably most of them have customers waiting for them. Still, peas must be the least productive veggie that someone can grow, foot by foot. Snap Snow English, they are extremely well-appreciated in this household!!

Steve


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tell us about . . .

. . . your "play it again" list!

S'


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RE: Good Year for Peas

Eh, my timing this year has been dreadful. I put in a 32 foot row in April, and another 32 foot row in early May. The first row managed to be about 6" high when we got the 90 degree week in June, and they never did much - poor pollination, stunted plants - I'm likely to pull the vines this week and plant pole and bush beans.

The 2nd row grew to about 12 - 18" high, and they're in the picking stage now - but they've stopped flowering with the current heat. We'll get another week out of picking them, and if it cools down a bit, they may take off again.

About 4 years ago, I had a year like you're having. Vines 5 feet high, from one row we ate all we could fresh - and thats saying something; picked, shelled and froze maybe 5 lbs or until we got tired of doing it, and then invited the neighbors over to pick.

Raw peas, dill, and pasta salad. Heated raw peas and pesto - thats why I save basil plants in pots over the winter....


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RE: Good Year for Peas

  • Posted by gjcore 5 South Aurora Co. (My Page) on
    Tue, Jul 6, 10 at 21:13

It's been a pretty good year for peas here also. For some reason they didn't get very tall but they did produce a lot. The main bed I've mostly pulled them up in the last couple days and covered that area with straw. It will soon be overrun by melon vines.

"Raw peas, dill, and pasta salad. Heated raw peas and pesto - thats why I save basil plants in pots over the winter...." David you're making me hungry.


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RE: Good Year for Peas

I hadnt run the one variety, Eclipse, past the taste testers yet, Digit, so I just ran out and picked some and did that!

Eclipse has turned out to be the most "interesting" variety! I hadnt picked any because they looked very small yet, but I just discovered that the pods stay very small looking, but the peas inside are very tightly packed and much bigger than it looked like they would be. There were 7 or 8 good size peas in each (small) pod, probably the best of the 5 varieties I tried. They probably wouldnt be too good for selling because people would be getting about twice the amount of actual peas that they would for another variety for the same volumebut they wouldnt know that, so probably wouldnt want to pay twice as much for them! The flavor was also very sweet, but right now Im thinkin maybe not quite as sweet as the other 4 varietiesvery close. And, while I didnt find any really big ones, Im thinking they may not stay sweet quite as long as the other 4 varietiesit almost looks like the peas might "outgrow" the pods!

Heres the cut & pasted pea section of my Veggie Garden 2010 "records ledger!" Since you cant post anything here in a chart form, Ive modified it with dashes, and heres what youre looking at!

Variety seed source and date of seed date germinated date planted and comments from different times when I ate them! I pick some of 2 or 3 different varieties each time I pick some and keep them separate so I can taste test them and compare them to each other. Then I go to my "ledger" to list my impressions and see if they agree with previous impressions! (That tells me if the quality stays consistent thru the picking season!) As of right now Im thinking I may grow all 5 of the same varieties next year. Of course we all know that could change when one starts reading descriptions in the seed catalogs in the dark of winter next year!

Peas:
Super Sugar Snap (Pinetree 09) ---- 04.30.10 ---- 04.18.10
~Good, even when pretty big!
~Very sweet - still sweet when big!
~ Still sweet even when very big! Grow again!

Sugar Sprint (Vermont Bean 09) ---- 04.29.10 ---- 04.18.10
~Very sweet - very big before losing sweetness grow again

Sugar Prince (Vermont Bean sale 09) ---- 05.03.10 ---- 04.18.10
~VERY poor germination! But very good!

Eclipse (Vermont Bean 09) ---- 05.03.10 ---- 04.18.10

Early Frosty - sugar pea (Seedman 08) ---- 05.03.10 ---- 04.18.10
~Good but best when not too big!
~Excellent flavor, not too bad when bigger
~pretty big before losing sweetness - grow again!

I dont know if this would help with all the peas you have to pick, but whats helped me "find" them is this! I pick all the ones I can "see" first, and then I go over the vines "feeling" them between my flat hands. Ive discovered that I can find a lot more with my hands than I can with my eyes! Peas are definitely funny that way!

I never thought of dill with peas, David. What do you use with the pasta? Mayo? Anything else? I make a salmon salad where I use various shapes of pasta, a can of drained salmon, Miracle Whip, and a bag (or two) of frozen petite peas (I dump them in still frozen)which are as close as you can get to "real" peas! I love it, but would never have enough home grown ones to use! I wonder if some fresh dill in that would be good. Bet it would! I feel salmon salad coming on! How do you make yours?

BTW, remember the basil seed you gave me when I was down there in 08? What was it called? Sunset something? Well I FINALLY started some of it this year (Im still off work, so actually have time to do things!) I love it, but none of my basil plants are big enough yet to even take a picture of! I was gone for almost two weeks near the beginning of June, and Im not sure the neighbors really watered at all while I was gone, so everything just sort of sat therefeeling very alone and neglected Im surebut at least nothing died! I just pinched them all (bunch of different types), and Im keeping everything well watered this year, so they should start bushing out now.

Anybody know if you can grow a successful fall crop of peas? If so, when would you plant them?

Skybird


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RE: Good Year for Peas

Those salads sound so good!!

I have grown peas for the last 3 or so autumns.

Each year, I have planted the last week of July. Hottest week of the year! I mean, I'm staggering around out there under the sun planting peas!

Snow peas. My reasoning there is that the seeds don't have to develop so they should be ready sooner than the others.

I don't know if that would necessarily be true. Right now, the Super Sugar Snaps are beating out the snow peas.

Anyway, I have actually harvested pea pods covered with frost in October. They don't grow so tall and don't need a trellis, altho' they would benefit from something to help hold them up.

. . . just my experience.

S'


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RE: Good Year for Peas

  • Posted by gjcore 5 South Aurora Co. (My Page) on
    Tue, Jul 6, 10 at 23:25

August would be the time to plant them. There are some threads on gardenweb over at Beans, Peas and other Legumes forum. I read the threads a few months back and the general consensus seemed to be to pick the right variety for fall peas. Of course what works in other parts of the world may not work in your backyard.


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RE: Good Year for Peas

I use 'Oregon Sugar Pod II' as it is more heat-tolerant and good yields, and the intrepid second-grader can go out and pick some peas and eat them right there.

Dan


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RE: Good Year for Peas

My son, when he was that age, planted peas out the front gate where the school bus stops so he'd have something to nibble on waiting for the bus. Last year at the farmers market, there was one person selling peas in mid-august. Here, with the cool nights, I bet you could grow them all season.

Re the pea/pasta dill salad, the ones we've made this season were just that, with a bit of vinegar and olive oil dressing - bet flaked salmon would work in there as well. The 'shell' pasta will meet up with the peas better than other forms.

That was Swiss Sunset basil from Territorial. I've kinda moved on to a a Large Leaf Italian version, I think from Johnny's. They're all good.


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RE: Good Year for Peas

Oregon Sugar Pod has been the one I've used for July planting. There has been a continual march of pea varieties thru my gardens in spring plantings.

This year I have Mammoth Melting. I think I've grown that one before (besides a few last year) but it would have to be decades ago. Ever since I learned that there were 3 classes - snap, snow, shell - I've had all 3 each year. I went pea happy!!

Usually, there are more than 3 trellises but, once again, there was a fairly late start in the big veggie garden as I waited for the tractor guy. It probably didn't make much difference. And, I'm tired of building trellises - having 6 one year took care of any enthusiasm I have for that.

One reason that I've tried so many varieties over the years is that there was once some small spark of hope that an actual bush pea would come close to the productivity of the climbers. All those efforts have meant that I've had to crawl around on the ground, lifting trailing pea vines, and picking fewer handfuls per foot . . .

Give me peas, peas, wonderful peas!!

Steve


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RE: Good Year for Peas

Got a question for you pea pros. I planted one little 3' row of snap peas for the first time this year, and got a few dozen very tasty pods out of them. However now they've stopped growing for the last few weeks and have no new flowers. Are they done and I should just rip them out? Or will they start growing again at some point? I suppose if it's just too hot, today will be a good test since it's unseasonably cool. Just wondering if I should throw in the towel or not. Undecided if I'll plant again next year, they were really good but quite a small yield for the size of plants.


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RE: Good Year for Peas

I'd pull them up, jeremywildcat. There is a school of thought that cuts them way back and then they re-grow new vines when it gets a bit cooler, but I've had better luck just pulling them and planting something else. I've found that the best yield on peas is to buy seed in bulk and plant the seed so close they're touching. A lb of seed is around $8.00, and will plant a 40 foot row - the seed lasts at least two seasons.

Steve, looking at your trellises, I've been using t-posts and cattle panels to hold up anything that needs trellising; peas, beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, squash - two t-posts will hold a 16' panel easily, and I wire two together for a 32 foot row with 4 posts. It seems like a lot of work but they really are pretty easy - pound the posts in just past the flange - 5 whacks with a driver - stand up the panel, use a foot long piece of baling wire or string to tie the panel to the post in two places, and tah-dum. These things continue to amaze me with how stable they actually are - I've never had one blow over, even when covered in vines and with those big gusts of wind before a thunderstorm.

To pull the posts out, I use a 2nd t-post as a lever, get below one of those bumps, and then a chunk of firewood as the fulcrum. With my new, improved garden design where I fully intend to let the worms do most the heavy work, I'm going to just leave them and amend the soil without taking them down.

Anyway, something to ponder. Off to pull one row of peas, and I'll plant Kings Banquet for the trellis and some French fillet bush beans in the same row.


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RE: Good Year for Peas

Thanks David - so what are some good options to replace them with this late? Beans you mentioned?


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RE: Good Year for Peas

I've been able to plant bush beans without a failure until the 15th, beyond that it gets real risky.

Never tried pole beans late! David, is that a reasonable choice? I've got a spot for them if it is.

Steve


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RE: Good Year for Peas

I just got back from pulling all the peas, then planting the row with French fillet bush beans about 6-8" out from the panels, and right along the panel, those Kings Banquet beans, 2 seeds every square.

The bush beans are rated at 55 days. Last year I planted them in the same bed I pulled garlic - July 8th or so, and I got a pretty good crop - just up-rooted all the plants, picked off the beans and made a dozen quarts of dilly beans.

The pole beans - well - if its warm enough that they germinate in the next 4 or 5 days, they'll do great. Sort of one big harvest instead of strung out over a longer time.

I get the impression that the beans do a whole lot better in warmer weather.


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RE: Good Year for Peas

These pea beds are likely to be replaced by bush beans but it will be a gamble. Instead of rushing into flowering this year, they grew another foot and delayed.

At one time, I thought I could plant bush beans anytime in July but sowing after the 15th only worked in about 2 years out of 3. I've been impressed not only in how quickly beans can grow in the heat but how well they can mature during the cool, rainy weather of September. In a cool spring, they will struggle to emerge but bean plants become rather single-minded when it comes to producing pods and seeds no matter what the circumstances. Of course frost will be their undoing.

Last year, the 1st pea bed to be pulled was replaced with a quick maturing cucumber (Ninja). Those vines had some very nice little cukes late in the season.

S'


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RE: Good Year for Peas

I came back to say that cucumbers are another possibility for planting this time.

Which brings me to my current head-scratcher - this year I'm having a terrible time growing cukes. I had this great idea of planting them in containers and being on the market with fresh ones in June - long before anybody else. So out of 12 containers, I've picked 6 cucumbers, in a month. The ones I started in the greenhouse and planted out along the trellis are just sitting there, no vine taking off. The places I've seeded directly never germinated.

Oh well. My dreams of price gouging the salad shoppers with 2'fer-a-dollah cucumbers are gone. But now - the family will likely riot when we run out of dill pickles, so I've got the seed package in my pocket and i'm on my way to find somewhere to plant them.


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Oh, and that pesto thing

Thought of another one - basil. just sprinkle the seed on the surface, water it in, and it will germinate in <4-5 days. Then in late August, a whole crop for pesto.


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RE: Good Year for Peas

Thanks guys - I'll probably give the beans a whirl. Maybe I'll do half bush and half pole so I can decide what works best for the future. Already got basil and cukes going, both are must haves for me anyway. Cukes have started taking off but only a few have pollinated so far. I suppose if I could find those "Ninja Cukes" that were mentioned they might be a good addition, if only for the name!


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RE: Good Year for Peas

  • Posted by gjcore 5 South Aurora Co. (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 1, 10 at 18:02

Today I noticed a handful of volunteer peas and I took this as a sign that fall peas should go in today using Laxton Progress seeds that I collected a few weeks ago. Hopefully it'll work out.


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RE: Good Year for Peas

If it doesn't look like it is "working out" - think about using the vine tips, gjcore. The shell peas are probably going to require at least 60 days to harvest. And, peas do slow down despite being able to grow in cool weather. There is also a lessening of daylight this time of year. That's the opposite of what happens during spring.

As we approach the 1st frost, and if your peas are only just coming into flower, start harvesting the tips. Really, they taste like peas! Who would have thought?!

This will be the 1st year that I haven't had snow peas planted by now. The entire "pea cycle" is off this time. I have just a few bean plants following those trellised beds of peas. (There's also some zucchini and radish.) Everything was running too late in the pea patch and, really, elsewhere in the garden.

If I could be confident of an October frost instead of things getting hit in September (dream on), the schedule could have been different. As it is, I'm running too late . . .

Steve


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RE: Good Year for Peas

I am being lazy because I can't think of a title for another thread on late plantings. Also, other than a good year for peas, it was a good year for lettuce . . .

The tomatoes are ripening now and all the corn did fine and the last sowing is coming off. We did have some warm weather and I am pleased at how the melons survived with little more than some disease problems. There are so many ripe and ripening melons, well, I'm quite delighted with them!!

I did plant the pole beans in mid-July and just had the first of the King's Banquet to harvest for dinner last night! The bush beans that followed those peas beds are still not quite ready to pick. They may make it -- yesterday, it was 80�! But, that might be the last almost-hot, sunny day . . .

A summer succession crop that definitely worked was the transplanted lettuce - we've had lettuce every week this summer, but shade locations have been required for much of it. The bok choy seed I planted the 1st of August, after the potato harvest, is still being harvested. It looks like what was sown the 2nd week of August will be coming along soon! Another Asian green Tokyo Bekana, new-to-me, looks like it will also be ready for the kitchen in a couple more weeks and probably after frost. It was in the last sowing just a couple of weeks ago. Arugula, sown at the same time, may not make (mock pity that ;o).

Kohlrabi, started mid-July, is pretty much just sitting there looking at me. I transplanted them out with the very first cooler weather in August thinking that they would grow quickly, as they do in the Spring. . . .

Oh, and the radish has been in continual supply. Radish hasn't always worked for me as a late crop. One year, I planted it in the shade and it bolted to seed, which was a surprise. It's been fine sown repeatedly in the full sun this season.

How have things gone for you after the peas were out of the way??

Steve


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RE: Good Year for Peas

  • Posted by gjcore 5 South Aurora Co. (My Page) on
    Thu, Sep 16, 10 at 19:58

My "fall" peas are coming along okay in fact I just ate the first one. I'm not expecting as big as a harvest as late spring but it's cool they'll be some peas in the fall.


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RE: Good Year for Peas

Steve, the Kings Banquet pole beans went gang-busters, and I'm still going out and picking a bucket every three days. The bush beans were pretty close - I pulled them all out over Labor Day weekend and made pickles, I would have liked to leave them another week but we had a frost forecast. Which never showed up, and the pole beans are still going strong. Days in the 80's, nights in the low 40's. This year, they are so sweet.

I ate a dozen pea pods today, volunteers from the earlier harvest, working on the garlic beds.


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RE: Good Year for Peas

I was surprised that a pole bean sown about July 7th would produce anything, David.

We haven't quite gotten there yet tho' - a hat full of bean per teepee. Still, that's a good start and the plants are over 8'.

We have a change in the forecast, I'm sorry to say. Lots of days of light rain ahead and high temperatures once again falling to the low 60's. I'm afraid that this is "it" for the growing season. Nevertheless, I am always surprised how well a frost-sensitive bean plant can do in low temperatures.

It is a lesson I had to learn: don't give up on green beans late in the season. They won't give up and, in fact, seem highly motivatedS'


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no pea vines here

Posted by gjcore
My "fall" peas are coming along okay in fact I just ate the first one. I'm not expecting as big as a harvest as late spring but it's cool they'll be some peas in the fall.

I should have said "after the Spring peas are out of the way." I'd have enjoyed seeing the vines right now . . . just too far behind the 8-ball earlier.

Something that didn't work very well for me this season was the late planting of zucchini. Some of those plants are ridiculously tiny!

Steve


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RE: Good Year for Peas

I just finished picking, blanching, and freezing 10 gallons of pole beans off a 40' row, thats the 4th picking and the biggest yield this season. I left several dozen on the vines to go to seed and they're still flowering. Probably turning into the best year for these I've ever had.


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RE: Good Year for Peas

  • Posted by keen101 5a CO Loveland (My Page) on
    Tue, Jul 19, 11 at 23:27

This year was pretty good for peas, but it probably could have been better. Still, i was able to try several varieties, and i have collected many new varieties to try next year.

I tried Dwarf Gray Sugar, Blue Podded (purple-podded), Golden Sweet (yellow-podded snow pea), Midnight Snow (purple-podded snow pea), and Biskopens (red-seeded pea). I tried my hand even at breeding a few peas together, but i wont know until the F2 generation if i successfully bred a red-podded pea.

Next year i'm anxious to try several varieties. Of the ones that i'm excited most about are Opal Creek (yellow-podded snap pea) and a Purple-podded snap pea (with hyper-tendrils) bred by Alan Kapuler in Oregon. If I am able to successfully breed those together i will be able to get a red-podded snap pea!


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RE: Good Year for Peas

I am glad you brought this up at this very moment, Keen.

The entire 2011 harvest of Green Arrow was completed in a matter of minutes and I enjoyed some of them with new potatoes, last night!

What a difference a year makes! I don't know what the problem was this spring. Or, I don't know what the critter was this spring! Something feasted on the first 2 beds of peas I put in!

The seedlings had barely emerged when they began to show damage - like grasshoppers make. But, I hadn't seen 1 grasshopper. The only bugs in the garden I had seen in any number were flea beetles and yet, I don't think I ever saw any on the peas.

What I am wondering is if the beetle larvae were in the soil in that part of the garden and chewing up the seedlings as they emerged. I don't know but it was terrible.

I sprayed with rotenone/pyrethrin without apparent effect. Only a few plants at the end of one bed survived well enuf to flower and produce pods. They were so few and stunted that I didn't build any trellis for them.

Elsewhere, the peas were replaced with cucumber transplants and more tomatoes! This is the 1st time I can remember when I've had so much trouble with peas. And the spring weather in 2010 & 2011, was remarkably similar.

Good Luck with your peas in 2012! We will all be interested to know how the plant breeding turns out but please tell us what you thought of the varieties you grew this year.

Steve


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RE: Good Year for Peas

  • Posted by keen101 5a CO Loveland (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 21, 11 at 17:34

Well, My favorite this year was Golden Sweet. It was a very early producer, and produced plenty of pods. I think the flavor could be improved a little bit, but it was pretty good, and easy to spot the pods.

Dwarf Gray Sugar was very tasty even though most of them seemed to be closer to shelling peas than snow peas. Still it produced tons of small green pods, and was tasty.

Midnight Snow was pretty good, but i actually liked eating the seeds when they got a little bigger instead of eating the pods as snow peas.

Biskopens was certainly interesting to grow. I guess it's really a field pea, and is refereed to as a "grey pea", which basically means it would be best used as a soup pea or to make "mushy peas". Apparently they can make their own gravy. I guess these kinds of peas have been out of favor for several decades. It grew 6ft+, and it was a very late producer. many of the pods are still maturing now, but it might be heat tolerant.

The Blauwschokkers were very similar to Midight Snow in appearance, but these were not snow peas. These were shelling peas, and weren't really that sweet. Probably best used as soup pea as well.


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RE: Good Year for Peas

I probably just finished the last of my peas & new potatoes for the season with my 9am lunch. Hey, breakfast was at 3:30!

Therefore, looking carefully at the names of these peas, Keen, I can honestly say that other than the Dwarf Grey Sugar - I haven't heard of any of them!

The dwarf version hasn't made it into my garden but I've grown the Mammoth Grey a couple of times. The Golden Sweets sound interesting but up until now, I would have panicked if the pea pods had turned yellow at harvest! Those 2 purple-podded varieties are probably very attractive.

Any trouble with weevils in the saved seed?

Steve


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RE: Good Year for Peas

Hi Steve,

um, no weevils. Truthfully i don't really know what a weevil is. I don't even know if we get them out here. Some sort of beetle? I'm pretty sure a lot of the pests other people get in other parts of the country aren't found here.

There were a few tiny little bugs (baby centipedes?) that did start attacking some of my early harvested seed. But, i rinsed the seeds lightly, and that fixed the problem. A few midnight snow peas were the only ones that had 1 or two pods eaten through by those same little bugs, but strangely enough the seeds from those pods were untouched.

Here is a link that might be useful: My yellow-podded Pea 2011


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RE: Good Year for Peas

Good looking snow pea, Keen!

Weevil "(d)amage consists of complete or partial destruction of infested seeds by numerous round holes or destruction of all but the outer shell."

And, that is what happened a couple of times with my saved pea seed. It hasn't happened every time and I'm told that putting the seed in the freezer will "fix" the weevils.

Don't know, tho' but it might be something to watch for.

Steve

Here is a link that might be useful: Seed weevils


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