Monday, 17 March 2014

Pea Seed 'Douce Provence' (Pisum sativum)

Pea Seed 'Douce Provence' (Pisum sativum):
Originating from France, we think this is possibly the most versatile Pea variety there is!
Over the past few years these peas have given an exceptional performance and yield in our own vegetable gardens and we have a row or two 'on the go' virtually the whole year through. Due to its hardiness this variety can even be grown as an over-Winter pea.
Consistent and reliable in habit it produces large crops of sweet and succulent peas on compact plants growing to 30" (75 cm) in height.
Strictly speaking this is a First Early variety, but being so adaptable we would recommend repeat sowings through the year. Late Spring and Summer sowings can take as little as 8 weeks from sowing to cropping.
For Early Cropping
Sow under protection in trays or modules February to March.
Set out when large enough to handle 5" (13 cm) apart in interspaced double rows 24" (60 cm) apart.
Can also be direct sown as per 'main cropping' under cloches February - March.
For Main Cropping
Sow March to July 5" (13 cm) apart in rows 24" (60 cm) apart. Sow in 2" (5 cm) deep drills.
For Over-Wintering
Sow (either outside or under protection) October to November 5" (13 cm) apart in rows 18" (45 cm) apart. Sow in 2" (5 cm) deep drills.
Top Tips
Protect newly sown seeds from mice. Mice are notorious in 'sniffing out' seed of this nature!
Pheasants love young pea plants and will dig up the plants to eat the sprouted seed so take precautions (especially with Autumn sowings) if you have pheasants in your area.
Protect young plants from pigeons.
Though not entirely essential, providing some support (pea sticks, netting or canes) will keep the crop tidier and make harvesting easier.
A good precaution to prevent damage from Pea Moth or Pea Weevil is to spray the entire plant (flowers included) with our BioFriend Plant Defence periodically during the flowering period.
Water well if the weather is dry when the pods are swelling.
Regular picking will encourage further flowering and subsequent cropping. Peas freeze well so better to pick regularly and freeze any excess as this will keep the plants producing.
After harvesting dig the plants into the ground to provide green manure and valuable nitrogen to the soil.

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