Peas please me

My mange-tout peas have made it out onto the plot. Thanks heavens for some recent spring rain, I was started to fear a repeat of last year when we had an extremely dry spring and struggled to get anything established. These have been kept a bit longer than intended at home, but they’re probably better for it. Hopefully they’ll withstand any attacks from pigeons and/or the pesky pea and bean weevil. Talking of the weevils, they seem to have disappeared from my broad bean plants, but I have noticed a few ladybirds on them, so I’m wondering whether the ladybirds are a natural predator of the weevils or whether it’s just coincidence? Probably coincidence, as I can’t find any evidence that they attack or eat weevils, but you never know!

I personally think mange-tout and sugar snap peas are more worthwhile to grow than maincrop peas. You need so many maincrop peas to make a decent meal and they never mature at the same time, so you get just a handful here and there, unless you dedicate a large area for them.

These have been planted around a small wigwam of canes and sticks from prunings. Once they start climbing I intend to weave some garden twine between the canes to add an extra bit of support. I also plan to fill any gaps in and around the canes with some extra lettuces. Talking of which…

… my baby lettuces which were planted out under the bottle cloches have done well. So far they seem to be untouched by the slugs (I probably shouldn’t get too cocky too soon about that) and they’ve withstood the lack of rain over the past few weeks. Only lost 1 so far in a whole row which more successful than last year. I’m currently eating lots of cut-and-come-again salad leaves which I grow in a pot at home, but once they’ve given up producing (which they do after so many cuttings) these should be ready to harvest. I now need to sow some more to keep the summer succession going. I think lettuce must be a girl thing, most blokes I know hate it. I personally wouldn’t be without it in sarnies and salads through the summer, and I hate those bags of chlorine drenched leaves you buy for a small fortune in the supermarkets. If you grow nothing else – please grow some lettuce!

The overwintering onions are just starting to fatten up. They need water at this time of year, lots of it to swell the bulbs, and then hot, baking sun to ripen. Mother nature doesn’t always comply with this request, so they can be a bit hit and miss. But so far, so good.

Also fattening up on a bigger scale are the leeks. By rights they should be pushing out flowering stems by now, but not these, they just keep getting bigger and fatter! This monster on the right made a meal on it’s own. A large batch of leek and potato soup that would normally take 3 or 4 leeks.

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