I’m a month behind. tch tch. This time last year I’d pretty much sown all my peas, but this year, well I’ve been living it large in the Alps and I can’t sow peas there in winter! There’s still lots of time, but I like to sow peas early to avoid the heat of the summer and the potential for pea moths to chomp on my hard-earned peas before I do.
I’m back home for a week, and my green fingers are itching to get into the soil and garden, it’s time to sow, sow, sow.
I try and re-use before I recycle and saving loo roll inners and using them as seed pots seems a classic way to re-use. All you need to do is make 4 cuts at one end of the inner, about a cm / 1/2 an inch, fold these over and pop them into a container or tray. Then fill the inners up with compost, water them and get the compost to settle in, then pop a pea in each inner, cover with an inch or so of compost. And wait.
After they have germinated and have a few distinct leaves on you can plant them out in their loo roll inners, you just need to make sure that when you pop them into the ground the whole of the inner is completely covered otherwise the cardboard will dry out and the plant will snuff it. Alternatively rip the cardboard open and plant the pea plant as normal and compost the inners. You see, nothing is wasted.
Now there is no way I will ever use enough loo rolls, nor get enough loo roll inners from friends, or indeed friends of friends for me to grow all my seeds, so plastic pots are used as well. They now make bio-degradable plastic pots which is better but not brilliant. Another option is to check out your local garden centre, they often throw away their pots, or will have a box of them stacked somewhere, that are free to take home. So it’s a case of re-use, re-use ad infinitum until they need to go to recycling. Or of course you could make your own paper pots, I know Celi over at TheKitchensGarden is a consummate fan of these.
Talking of re-use, the pots of peas will be housed in mushroom boxes, that way if it rains the water will drain off and out so the pots won’t be sitting in a couple of inches of water. You can pick them up from your grocers if you ask nicely 🙂
Last year was all about saving seeds for Seed Swaps or Exchanges, the plan was to for me to grow, sample and save these heritage varieties and pass them on. For the most part it worked a treat. This year, I’m bowing out of some of the seed swaps, I have enough seeds to sink the Navy let alone a Single Battleship, so it’s time to focus on growing what we like to eat.
I also need to replicate last year’s success, always tricky. It was the first year I can truly say we had a bumper crop of peas, yes we ate lots and blanched and froze even more, but the majority were for seed saving. Do you know how hard it is to go to your allotment and NOT pick peas? Bloody difficult is probably the most civil way I could describe it.
There’s plenty more to sow, but I’ve made a start.
- Climbing Peas – Telephone, Champion Of England, Serpette Guilloteau, Robinson’s Purple Podded, Salmon Flowered, Espoir de Gembloux
- Dwarf Peas – Old Homestead
And the title of the post? For those who were students or underemployed in the 80s/90s you’ll remember a programme called Blockbusters, and the memory of contestants asking for a “P” or rather a pee…..