Oh peas behave!

Pea Shiraz banner from Sam Corfield

Peas can be sown successionally for a continuous crop throughout the summer

If you love the idea of sowing pea and bean seeds and want to try growing them at home or on your allotment, we asked trained horticulturist, Sam Corfield, to talk you through his pea season. A man who likes to keep things simple, here are his top tips to help you enjoy excellent harvests with minimum fuss. Whether you want to grow juicy garden varieties, succulent sugar snaps or mangetout, this simple guide will have you growing your own peas in no time. 


And I’m done… kind of!

And I’m done… kind of!

I’m sat in my cottage and the log burner roaring; the smell of burning cat hair fills the room- Martha once again has attempted to melt her tail on the fire door. Outside the leaves have all but dropped and my beard is a scruffy mess!

It’s been a while since I last managed to sit down and excrete horticultural information. The past few months have been even more hectic than the previous year!

I feel slightly lost now that I don’t have to harvest, water and tend to everything 7 days a week.

So apart from abusing your facial hair, what has been happening Sam?


Well, Cucumber Armageddon is complete. I feel rather elated and proud of what I’ve achieved. The plan was to grow every cucumber needed for every meal at the pub- that’s a lot! They regularly serve 300+ meals a day and most include a salad garnish. Apart from couple of days in mid-summer, I did it!!! 1678 straight, wonky and green cucumbers from 86 plants. That’s 19.5 per plant, which isn’t bad. It wasn’t easy but it proves other small businesses could do the same achieving great success.

The most successful varieties from this year are:

mange tout peasGolden Sweet Mange-tout that’s well…sweet.

Shiraz Mange-tout that’s well…purple.

ringed beetrootCandied Beetroot with its vibrant growth rings.






rainbow carrotsHeirloom Rainbow Carrots picked small and fried in a pan.

Every new crop I trialled at the pub gets reviewed by myself and the chef, every September. This gives us a chance to find out what worked and in some cases what didn’t. We then discuss new varieties and I ramble on about random tropical fruit that might be the next big thing in 2018……keep an eye out for Actinidia arguta (Hardy Kiwi). 

horned melonThe one tropical fruit I’d recommend trying next year is Horned Melons! These peculiar climbers originate from Africa and have been a great talking point in the polytunnel. Once ripened, you can use the pulpy interior to flavour jelly, desserts or cocktails but it is rather ‘snotty’ in texture! The taste is a weird but good fruity banana ish thing.





radish seedsFinally, I’m currently trialling Bluemoon and Redmoon radish in pots. You can just about get away with it in a polytunnel/greenhouse/window sill. It’s a good way to test varieties you might have missed in the summer.






Now I better put the kettle on, light a scented candle and clean burnt cat hair off the fire!!




The Three C’s – courgettes, cucumbers and cucamelons!

Bowl of cucamelons next to courgettes

Learn how to grow the Three C’s using Sam Corfield’s top tips
Image: Shutterstock

Every time I offer some knowledge with regards to growing crops for your business, the first question is always, so how long have you been growing the beard?

It’s not really the first, it’s about the 5th question!

They actually want to know the easiest vegetable/fruit they can grow and that’s where the three c’s come in.


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