Taste is, of course, key to growing your own crops, so once you find a variety you like, it’s sensible to stick to it. But on the other hand, when it comes to the kaleidoscopic world of peas and beans, you don’t want to miss out on a whole heap of colour and variation available from seed companies.
Why not go online or sift through your seed catalogues to pick out a few fresh and exciting ones to grow now – all peas and beans are easy to grow, too. You might find a few other varieties you love for both taste and colour, to freshen up your cooking. You’d never know of the wonderful range you can try from supermarkets, either, who seemingly stock for utility. And there’s no doubt about it, nothing is nicer than picking your own fresh, intensely flavourful, unusually colourful crops!
As peas like cooler weather, you can start them and mange tout off now outdoors, as well as broad beans, and now’s the perfect time to order in some new runner or French bean seed for April planting.
You can also start off all types in pots for the greenhouse over the next few weeks, ready for planting out later as young plants to get you ahead for the new growing season. Plant out into a moist but well-drained, open sunny spot, or grow in pots for the patio – but remember to water and feed them well in containers.
Below are our recommendations of four to seek now! Click the images to find out more…
FRENCH BEAN ‘ORINOCCO’
Dwarf variety, perfect for small gardens and patios. Prolific cropper with lemon yellow pods.
From Kings Seeds: www.kingsseeds.com
PEA ‘HALF PINT’
Children and those with tiny gardens or windowsills can grow peas too! Mini plants for small pots with a good crop.
From DT Brown: www.dtbrownseeds.co.uk
BROAD BEAN ‘KARMAZYN’
Fast becoming a favourite among growers, this is a pink heritage variety improved in taste and growth.
From Chiltern Seeds: www.chilternseeds.co.uk
MANGETOUT ‘SPRING BLUSH’
Bi-colour blooms, rosy pink-tinged pods and a tall, prolific habit. Eat tendrils and pods.
From Dobies: www.dobies.co.uk