Edible pods

Person Author: Lajos Szabo Calender May 18, 2012 Posted Tags: , Comment No Comments

If you like peas and want to have a bit more of edible harvests from your plants why not try to grow some edible pods?

Mange tout peas are one of my favourite to grow, as gives much more edible crop than garden peas. Oregon sugar pod is very productive and grows up to 3.5 feet tall; and you can harvest the pods for 2 weeks or even longer.

Mangetout is a French word and it means ‘eat all’. The pea pods remain soft and tender even when they ripe, unlike ordinary garden peas which are lined with a tough membrane which dries out as the pods mature.

Mangetout peas can be treated like French beans in the kitchen, they are very popular in sir fries, but if you try them raw you will finish them before they reach the kitchen because they are really sweet.

For an early crop you can grow them in an unheated polytunnel or greenhouse, sowing the seeds late January – February. For main crop sow the seeds direct outside from mid March through mid June, leave 4-6 inches between the plants and 20-25 inches between rows. Mangetout peas are quite hardy plants and will grow well on most type of soil. Support the plants with long pea sticks or with pea netting.  Make sure you water them well in dry spells especially when flowering and pick the pods regularly to encourage further production.

 

There is an other type of pea with edible pods is the asparagus pea.

These plants are great as ornamental plants as they are bushy and have delicate clover like leaves and attractive dark red flowers. The plants grow to a height of 17 inches. They produce a square or four winged small pods. The pods can be eaten raw when young or can be cooked when older. As the name suggest the pods taste a bit like a mix of pea and asparagus. Pick them small when about 1 inch long as they tend to become stringy if left on the plants for too long.

Sow the seeds from mid April inside or direct outside when the soil warmed up from early May.  You can sow them in rows about 12 inches apart and leave 3-4 inches between the seeds, but my favourite method is to grow them as a ground cover in small areas. As the plants are small no support is needed only weeding and watering.

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