Growing Peas at Home During Lockdown
Why not try something different during lockdown? Growing peas is a lot easier than you might think! Peas are easy to grow, and taste amazing, both as raw green pea shoots, (the growing tips), added to a salad, and also from the pod, whichever way you want. Here’s an easy guide to doing it at home.
Peas can be Bush varieties, or Climbing, which will need supports as they grow. I have chosen the Bush variety this time. To start them off, simply put the seeds on damp kitchen paper in an old baking pan or seed tray. Leave them on a windowsill or in a conservatory. Don't let them dry out. If you have an old packet of dried peas at the back of the cupboard, you can use these. It's a great experiment to try!
After a few days, the peas start to sprout. At this stage, you should put them into a seed module filled with compost if you have any, or sieved earth if not. Small yogurt or cottage cheese pots will do, just make a few drainage holes in the bottom. Cover the seeds lightly with a little more soil, and water the pots. Stand them in a tray to catch the drips. Keep the soil moist, but not too wet.
About two weeks after they have been put into the pots or modules, the pea seedlings should look like this. They are now ready to be planted into their final position.
This is an individual pea seedling ready to be planted. Take them out gently from the soil, trying not to damage the roots. They should now go into a large pot, a cleaned out paint container or plastic bucket, but make sure there are drainage holes in the bottom. If there is no chance of frost and you have an area of garden, they can go outside into the soil.
Make a hole about 2 inches or 5cms deep, and carefully put the seedling in, firming the soil around gently. Leave about 4 inches or 10 cms between each seedling. Water them in, don't let the soil dry out completely.
Leave them to grow, and before long, they will begin to bush up. Just keep an eye one the watering, and don't let them dry out. They don't need support, but I have put up a basic framework of bent plastic rods I had from some old packaging. They will be ready to harvest about June or July, taking about 2 months from the time they were sown as seeds, depending on the weather. A great reward for the effort!