The question is: Is it best to sow this early crop in the ground, in a length of guttering, or in deep pots? I’ve tried all three and here is what I’ve found.
Peas in pots, gutters, or straight in the ground?
I always start some early peas in January. They almost catch up with any autumn-sown ones and crop just a week or two later. The question is: Is it best to sow this early crop in the ground, in a length of guttering, or in deep pots? I’ve tried all three and here is what I’ve found.
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Guttering gives a nice straight row of evenly spaced peas, but there isn’t a great depth of compost and roots grow fast to form a mat If there is any delay in planting out, growth can be restricted and plants take longer to pick up and start growing again.
If plants go straight in the ground, the row must be covered by a cloche – and even with one, the ground can be so cold that germination is poor and only a few seedlings poke through.
Peas sown in deep tubs have plenty of room for root growth. If you use clear plastic tubs, you can see if roots are filling the compost. Peas in tubs should be raised under cover and they may suffer some setback when planted out.
Conclusion: I prefer to raise early peas in deep tubs and not to separate each plant when putting in the ground. If you get the spacing right, the whole tub can be decanted and planted at once. This gives a full, healthy row of plants, but it is only practical if you have a polytunnel or greenhouse for raising a large number of plants. If you don’t have space to raise enough plants in tubs, put a cloche over the soil a week or two before sowing seed in situ. At the same time, sow a couple of tubs with seed that can be transplanted if germination is poor in the ground. These tubs can go by a cold window, or in a porch
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