Supporting Pea Plants

Traditionally, Good Friday is the day when you sow peas in your garden. I don’t know for sure why this is but I imagine it is so that the soil is warm enough for the peas to germinate and the full Moon is an optimum time for sowing seeds. Indeed, many people make a point of sowing all their seeds (and harvesting their crop) according to the Moon. Some even go as far as sowing at nighttime to be under the Moon!

Anyway, back to peas. When you sow your peas, you should also be considering supporting the plants. There are a few varieties which are advertised as self-supporting. These still only work up to a point. They get very messy. So, generally, peas need support.

The way gardeners always supported pea plants was by using ‘pea sticks ‘which were twiggy cuttings, traditionally from hazel, although any wood would do. Nowadays, not all of us have this sort of material available and we have to use more manufactured supports.

Bamboo canes work very well, either on every group of plants or at the end of rows with netting hang between them so that the pea plants grow up the netting. However, for a really desorative look which is also very practical, Harold Horticulture produce Pea and Bean Hoops and Cross Supports.

These are the sturdiest supports you can buy. They are made of heavy duty galvanised steel and will last for many seasons, so although the investment may seem heavy initially, over the years you will actually save money by not having to replace your supoports.

You will still need to use pea and bean netting with your supports and this is also available through Harold Horticulture although you can buy netting at almost any garden shop. The frame stands 1 m (3 ft) high and there is 30 cm between the legs of each hoop, so it is just right for two rows of peas. You can get it in three lengths, so you buy the one to suit you.

Usually, I plant my pea plants over Easter, but with the weather being as cold as it has been, my seeds were planted late, so they are not even germinated yet, let alone ready to go out. However, to follow tradition, I shall sow a row of peas outside on Good Friday (assuming the weather is clement!).

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