About a month ago I sowed three rows of peas (Kelvedon wonder) and having just inspected the plot I only have about eight seedlings. So where have they gone? Whats happened to them?
What’s happened to the peas?
I expected thirty or so seedlings, so I did some research. Peas are a source of food for birds in all stages of their life, seeds, seedlings, plants and pea pods. Well I knew this and I netted the pea bed at the same time as sowing. Mice and other rodents also feed on peas but there is no evidence of rodents so the only other possible explanation is that the seeds have rotted in the soil as they are prone to do in damp conditions.
So back at home I have sown about thirty peas in bio degradable home made pots made from newspaper. These I can control the water content in the soil then once they have sprouted I can transfer them to the plot and hopefully get a good start on next springs pea crop. I don’t know why I’m surprised at the lack of pea seedlings it happens every time I sow peas. Now I have it written on here maybe I’ll remember and save seeds next season.
Why over winter peas?
I always like to over winter peas as it gives the plants a good start, and it means that I am harvesting my peas before the pea moth is out and about wanting to lay eggs in my peas and leaving that horrible little maggot that completely puts me off eating that pod of peas. Also it frees the bed up for another crop just when space is getting tight.
If you decide to over winter peas Kelvedon wonder and Meteor are good varieties to use. Another crop that can be overwintered using the same technique is Broad Beans, however they seem to be a more robust seed so it is not neccesary to sow these in pots, they can be sowed directly into the soil.