Peas and Oca

For the first time in a few years, I have planted peas outside this year.  In the past they have done pretty well for me, and it was more that I didn’t really have anywhere to put them that put me off growing them.   I have grown them in the polytunnel, and they do grow well in there also.  They don’t generally make it as far as the kitchen however!  With the tea garden extension, I have a fair amount of space.  So this year I have used some longish side branches cut from the alders that I felled, and some side branches from the alder grove just below the hump at the south side, for pea sticks.

pallet fencing
Bright pallets for fencing

The pallets in the tea garden don’t quite overlap enough to give brilliant wind reduction at the moment.  I have enough pallets to finish the job, thanks to the delivery driver arranging a few spare pallets to be  dropped over.   But I still need to dig out the couch and nettles along the edge by the trackway, so the ground levels still aren’t right there to complete the fences.  Anyhow, I planted out the bare root hazels that had been ‘heeled in’ in one of the sections and cleared it in preparation.  The peas went in a row parallel to the windbreak, and the pea sticks leant up at an angle just past them.  These were carlin peas that I had saved from peas grown in the front garden in 2011.  They had been put in water to soak a couple of days prior.  There were lots of them, so I just sowed them really thickly.  Between the peas and the pallet I transplanted some good king henry and sweet cicely seedlings that had self sown near my plants in the tea garden.

finished peas and oca bed
Finished pea bed in tea garden

Along the edge by the access path I have planted the colourful oca tubers that I bought from real seeds.  I have tried to put colours not too similar next to one another so that I can keep the resulting tubers separate when it comes to harvest.  There did appear to be some duplication of tubers (as expected) so some will bulk up numbers more quickly than others.  One tuber also does look like the variety I have grown before.

oca varieties
Multicoloured oca

Also planted at the edge are a few heath pea (lathyrus linifolius) plants that I grew from seed last year.  They have been neglected in modules, but most seem remarkably to have survived no watering and little compost, they are tough little plants it seems!  Also planted in here were the last perennial kale plants.  The ones that I had planted out as soon as they rooted grew far bigger than the ones left in pots.  I also planted out an angelica plant that I had bought from Pointzfield herbs this spring.

purple mangetout
Bicolour bloom on the purple mangetout (last year in polytunnel)

I had three varieties of peas I wanted to grow this year.  As well as the carlin peas, I wanted to try the tall purple mangetout, that I have grown only in the polytunnel till now.  Because I want to try and save fresh seed from these, I have planted up a wigwam of alder peasticks in the front garden.  This is the other side of the barn from the tea garden, so there is little chance of the plants cross-pollinating.  I have also planted out in this area some of the plants that have been (mal)lingering in pots.  I put a few of my new sweet violet plants against the sycamore trunks, a little honeysuckle to grow up them, a few campanula latifolia along by the path and some rather small martagon lily seedlings that I grew from my HPS seed last year.  I’m currently debating with myself as to whether to plant one of my new mint plants in there too, or whether to confine it to a pot to keep it in restraint.

pea wigwam in front garden
Pea wigwam in front garden (still with junk guarding dog tooth violets from dogs)

The third variety of peas that I have planted are some Heritage Seed Library seeds that I didn’t grow last year.  Champion of England is a tall (could be up to 10 feet!) marrowfat pea.  Since I only have a few seeds I decided to grow these in the polytunnel.  I have planted then in the bed below the apricot (which I must read up about pruning!).  When preparing the bed I inadvertently dug up some Apios americana tubers that I had forgotten were there.  They have only just started into growth.  Hopefully I haven’t damaged the growing tips too much.

first apricots
First apricots?

It all looks great before the weeds start to grow!

6 thoughts on “Peas and Oca

  1. I have 2 HSL peas to grow this year, so I’ve done them both in a bucket in different greenhouses. I might not send them back this year though, instead sow them again next year with more seed and see if I can really boost it’s numbers. I do love growing peas, really simple pleasure and would have been such a staple in the past. I love the soup peas just because it’s so nice to sit round as a family and shell them. I have two sorts in this year, one tall and one dwarf, I’m interested to see how they do, although one is sown much heavier than the other because it’s from saved seed and I have loads.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the stories behind the HSL plants as well. But the main aim is to find something that has been grown for Scotland rather than Sussex!
      I tend to go for tall peas and beans because they seem better value for the space they take up even if they are a bit longer coming to harvest.


  2. I built a pallet fence around my garden on Scalpay, the pallets were available at the pier and I had a car at the time, I didn’t use them as they were, I took them apart and used the planks for the fence and the blocks for the fire, my garden on Scalpay was much smaller than my current garden,

    I smiled when I read you haven’t planted peas for a few years due to no where to put them, I have the same problem sometimes yet feel with the size of my garden it sounds wrong, of course our problem is not having enough cleared, prepare and protected ground!

    I noticed the same with my broccoli as you with your kale, all my current broccoli was sown at the same time last summer but the plants I planted out first are by far the larger and most productive,

    interesting all the peas you are sowing, I only have one pea (early) ‘Douce Provence’, I bought a pack of seeds a few years ago and I am still using them, though this year I have bought some dwarf mangetout, Noril AGM, to try, and I like your wigwam,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Frances, you are right that it is cleared ground I was short of rather than land per se. Up to this year my priorites have been planting trees, rather than preparing beds. However all the work I did earth moving in the tea garden extension resulted in a lovely patch to use.
      The wigwam probably isn’t tall enough, and I still will need to tie it together a bit more with some string. The ring at the top was a willow wreath base from xmas! Where it is, if the peas run out of wigwam they can climb the sycamore! Already got a few pea shoots showing.

      Liked by 1 person

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