I have been harvesting the mangetout recently, a few pods at a time at first but now a good picking session is needed to keep up with them. I love the sweet taste of mangetout. The support frame is bearing up too which is a good job really because the plants are quite heavy now.
I have a second batch just starting to flower, hopefully to extend the picking season. What are you currently harvesting?
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on June 11, 2010
The mangetout seedlings were reaching for the stars in the mini greenhouse so I began to leave the protective cover off them during the day to harden them off. I planted a row yesterday and they have curled their tendrils round the chicken wire to support themselves already, clever little things.
I grew Reuzensuiker mangetout last season and did very well with this variety, so fingers crossed for a bumper crop soon. I am popping fleece over the young plants at night just in case a late frost threatens although they should be OK, I have a second batch of seedlings tucked away in the greenhouse just in case. Anything that doesn’t get used here goes to my son’s school for their vegetable patch. I gave them quite a few seedlings last year which were planted by the children during the vegetable gardening afternoon club.
Which pea variety is your absolute favourite?
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on May 6, 2010
Now is a good time to start putting your choice of climbing support in place for your peas and beans before planting your seedlings out or sowing directly into the ground. Last year my attempt at supporting my rather rampant mangetout was quite frankly pathetic. The whole shoddy structure of poles, sticks, chicken wire and string ended up leaning right over due to the weight of the plants and threatened to collapse at any given moment. Luckily it just about stayed put.
This year I decided to make a similar but more sturdy structure for my peas using chicken wire and 10 foot bamboo poles. I weaved the chicken wire through 4 bamboo poles, tying any overlapping edges in with wire, then I pushed the poles into the ground going down at least a foot. You can use any height chicken wire it’s entirely up to you, I guess it also depends on which variety of peas you wish to grow. I’m pleased with my effort, it does appear to be much stronger than last years sorry attempt so we shall see how it compares.
Mangetout tendrils really cling to the chicken wire which is why I like using it. I suppose I could have used pea sticks seeing as I grow the taller varieties but because I keep chickens I usually have lots of spare chicken wire lying around -it seemed like such a waste not to try to use it. Personally I don’t like using any type of plastic netting which is lighter in weight for the overall structure than chicken wire, I worry about wild birds getting tangled in it so for me its a no-no. For my runner beans I shall be constructing a ridge frame support rather than doing the usual pole wigwam, I found harvesting the beans growing in the centre of the wigwam rather difficult last season.
Which method(s) do you prefer using for supporting your beans / peas?
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on April 21, 2010
Super easy to grow and the taste is just so much better than shop bought ones. I forgot how tall the plants actually get and now my support system resembles a pathetic mish mash of chicken wire, sticks, string and bamboo canes….all struggling to support the monster plants. Its failing miserably too, its all leaning over and looking quite crap! Still, I would always find the space for mangetout, they are totally worth it. You could always try growing dwarf varieties of course, I just prefer the taller ones.
Note to self. Next year put better support in place for the mangetout!
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on July 17, 2009