Get seed in the ground or containers now for a sweet early harvest
Peas can be sown in spring or autumn when the soil is warm – seed may rot off if the ground is wet and cold, so now or in early to mid spring are the optimum times. There are a few benefits to sowing your peas now, instead of waiting:
It’s a good way to keep your produce coming in earnest, and you’ll be sowing at a time when you have fewer things to do than in spring – and a bit more space to do it in.
Sowing now will ensure an earlier, welcome harvest next year, and stronger plants in the new year than if you start them afresh in spring, advanced in growth enough to potentially miss out on weevil or aphid infestation, too.
It’s also an experiment to try, to see if your autumn greenhouse sowings are better or worse than your spring ones!
A good tip is to invest in hardy pea varieties to sow now, which are round and smooth – wrinkled varieties will serve you best sown in spring, as water can collect in the seed’s rivets and encourage rot. These wrinkled varieties are often known to be sweeter than the hardier types, too, befitting of a summer greens harvest.
Hardy, round pea varieties include ‘Feltham First’, ‘Douce Provence’ and ‘Meteor’, three renowned for their good taste and bountiful cropping.