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Growing English Peas in the South

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Growing English Peas in the South Empty Growing English Peas in the South

Post  yolos on 6/1/2018, 10:53 pm

Experiment - English Pea Varieties
 
I have been looking for the best variety of English Peas (aka shell peas, garden peas) to plant in my garden in my climate in the spring and again in the fall.  So this spring I experimented with 5 varieties.  Alaska, Progress, Green Arrow, Wando and Strike.  All peas were planted between 2/19 and 2/23.  They were pre-sprouted before planting in amended soil.  The plants were planted in the shade of an old live oak tree.  Because the leaves were off the tree, they received full sunlight until the leaves began to fill in the tree.  Then they received full sun from 2 pm to 8 pm daily.  We had a heat wave in mid May that threatened to end the experiment early.  But then it cooled off a lot but was very cloudy and rainy.   
 
Results & observations:
Alaska – Began harvesting on 5/9 and ended on 5/31.  Harvested 4.82 pounds (weighed in pods) which was .34 pounds per square foot.  This was the best yield per square foot.  Height of plants was 6-8 feet tall.  Although this was the highest yield per square foot, the harvest period was 22 days and did not end until 5/31. 
Strike – Began harvesting on 5/9 and ended on 5/15.  Harvested 5.72 pounds (in pods) which was .29 pounds per square foot.   This was the second highest yield per square foot.  Harvested a total of 5 pounds in a three day period.  The early completed harvest allowed me to prepare the beds for a new crop of veggies earlier than any other varieties.  Plants grew from 2 – 2.5 feet high.
Progress - Began harvesting on 5/9 and ended on 5/25.  Harvested 3.47 pounds (in pods) which was .25 pounds per square foot. 
Green Arrow – This was the lowest yield per square foot of the peas planted in the ground (.21 pounds per square foot).  Harvest lasted from 5/17 and ended on 5/23.  Height of plants was 4 feet.
Wando – This planting was not comparable because these were planted in pots in a different area of the garden. 
 
All plants developed Powdery Mildew about the time the pods were maturing.  1 pound of peas in the pod after shelling averaged 1 cup of shelled peas.  It takes me about 30-40 minutes (slow I know) to shell one pound of peas.  I harvested 25 pounds of peas (weighed in the pod) which produced 29 cups of shelled peas which translate into 20 side dishes for our family after blanching, sealing and freezing.
yolos
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Post  sanderson on 6/1/2018, 11:55 pm

It looks like Alaska was best for yield per sq. ft. and Strike was best for your the bed ready for another crop. I'm in 9A. Can I plant them in October?

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sanderson
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Post  yolos on 6/2/2018, 11:18 am

@sanderson wrote:It looks like Alaska was best for yield per sq. ft. and Strike was best for your the bed ready for another crop.  I'm in 9A.  Can I plant them in October?
I don't know why not.  It might take a few tries to get the planting date right.  You want to time it so the flowers and pods come out after all chance of frost passes.  The freeze (above 25 degrees maybe) won't hurt the plant but will hurt the flowers and pods.  So timing is important.  Remember, they grow slower in cool/cold weather.  For instance, last fall the DTM of the STrike Peas planted late Sept was 47 days, and this spring the DTM was about 80 days.
yolos
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Post  sanderson on 6/2/2018, 4:16 pm

Thank you.

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