|~ Successful pea shoots (for growing on) in previous years ~|
I have to confess to my first major fail of the season. As part of my all year round salad bar, I thought I'd grow some pea shoots as they're reputed to be quick and incredibly easy to grow.
My opinion of pea shoots was changed for the better a couple of years ago when the meal served for supper at a friend's house was pea shoots with pulled ham hock, peas, watercress and a dressing. There might have been mint in there as well; what was memorable was it's tastiness. But still I didn't grow pea shoots as a salad leaf, even though I grew peas in the veg patch.
Striving for a full year of salad leaves, I hope to change all that but I'm having to start again. As far as I can tell, pea shoots can be grown from any pea seeds whether they're the remnants of last year's packets or supermarket dried peas. I had some leftover seeds so filled a box with compost, pushed pea seeds into the compost and watered them. A week later the lettuce leaves that I'd sown had all germinated but there was a complete lack of action from the pea seeds. I gave them a few more days. Nothing. So I poked around a bit which was when I discovered ... mushy peas. There were no signs of germination, just globules of pale mush.
I've now started again but this time using supermarket dried marrowfat peas and watering slightly less. And there will be NO poking around as I've since learned that pea shoots can take a bit longer to germinate. Let's see how that goes.
What I'd like to know, though, from anyone that has successfully grown pea shoots, did I do anything wrong? Do the pea seeds need less watering; are they prone to going mushy; has anyone else found that they've had mushy peas rather than pea shoots? A couple of things that might be to blame is perhaps I didn't sow the seeds deep enough; I gave them a light covering of soil rather than pushing them down about an inch. Also, I used multi-purpose compost rather than lighter seed compost and watered them in well; perhaps that was it? If there's any light to be shed on this mystery, please do tell.
|~ Mushy pea seeds on the left after a bit of poking around. Definitely not a thing of beauty. ~|
A little bit about my 52 week challenge
I'm sowing a range of salad leaves into small window boxes (above photo). Some of these seedlings will be pricked out to be grown into bigger plants and the rest left for cut and come again leaves on my balcony.
First salad leaves were sown on 30th April.
Salad Rocket appeared within a couple of days (it's not called 'Rocket' for nothing!);
Komatsuna was up by day 3 after sowing;
Mr Fothergill's mixed leaves appeared on day 4 after sowing.
Lollo Rosso leaves had poor germination rates but were from an older packet.
Second sowing on 14th May.
Viola's (edible flowers)
Drunken Woman Lettuce