Hello all you happy gardeners!
Well we’ve all had some fab weather and doesn’t it show in the gardens? The flowers and veg like to feel the warmth on them.
I just had to tell you all about the pea Alexandra I have grown as part of the Thompson & Morgan trials.
I only have a small garden and I couldn’t plant the whole packet (300 seeds), so only planted 30, all at once. I did start them off in pots first, as the weather was too cold and the soil was still frozen.
On April 12th I planted them in garden. In fact, where they are planted used to be my small lawn! I had to dig it well and added the compost from my compost bin and even forked in some of the overwintered pot compost. I had to cover the plants with a cloche to keep the rain off…yes buckets of it!
By May 24th they were growing tall and very healthy looking, so I put a support of wire mesh over them, 2′ high as they grow to 18″. On June 18th I arrived back from holiday and the plants were all lying down and clinging together, looking a mess, so after separating them (that was a job!) I put up 4′ canes and made a frame for support. By this time all the plants had lots of flowers.
Just 6 days later I had to put in 6′ canes! The pea plants were now ranging from 3’10 to 5′ with pods appearing.
By June 30th pods now were 4″ plus, growing all up the stem, not just on the tops.
July 6th… my first boiling, yum! Many of the pods had 8 to 10 peas in. From just 28 pods I reaped 200 peas. And yes, I had the patience to count them! Wow, they were so sweet.
These Alexandra peas are just amazing. I had no mould or little critters eating away at them, they just looked so amazingly healthy. The total weight of all pea pods was 3.5kg. I didn’t feed them (apart from the compost I added after I’d dug up the lawn), just made sure they were well watered, even twice a day when it was really hot. They just grew and grew and were the talking point of all who visited. I’ll certainly grow them again.
A note from Colin Randel, Thompson & Morgan’s vegetable product manager: “Peas, French and broad beans generally make considerably taller plants in wet seasons and cloudy, cold conditions. Adding compost or manure underneath would even increase the height by a good 12″. But I wouldn’t have expected them to grow to 5′ or more!”
Another of our trial panel members also reported a massive crop of peas and said “My peas have done very well too. Mine are not quite as tall as Shirley’s, but they are smothered in peas and I have to say that they are the sweetest peas I have grown.”
Shirley Reynolds is a member of Thompson & Morgan’s trial panel and loves spending time in her garden. Shirley is a big fan of container gardening and has recently dug up her lawn to grow more vegetables!