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.

Pea Alexandra - huge plants, bumper crops!

Me with the tall pea plants!

Pea Alexandra - huge plants, bumper crops!

Pea Alexandra – a close-up shot


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.

Pea Alexandra - huge plants, bumper crops!

Hundreds of pods!

By June 30th pods now were 4″ plus, growing all up the stem, not just on the tops.

Pea Alexandra - huge plants, bumper crops!

Long pea pods

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.

Pea Alexandra - huge plants, bumper crops!

Pea harvest

Pea Alexandra - huge plants, bumper crops!

Juicy sweet peas


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.”

Pea Alexandra - huge plants, bumper crops!

Plants smothered in the sweetest peas

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