Pea Petit Pois (Calibra)
Petit pois peas have the sweetest flavour and are a real treat, even eaten straight out of the pod. Picking the odd pod or two when passing can make it hard for any quantity to get to the kitchen at all. Having said that, pea Calibra is a particularly heavy cropping variety, producing masses of well filled pods, each containing up to ten juicy little peas. The tall bushy plants also show good resistance to disease allowing for longer picking of top quality pods.
Sow outdoors March to June. Sow seeds 5cm deep directly where they are to grow, in rows spaced 75cm apart. Keep the soil moist and weed free at all times. Provide support for the plants as they grow larger, this will also make picking the pods much easier. Stringing 60cm tall netting along the row or placing twiggy ‘pea sticks’ for them to climb over is ideal. Seedlings should start to appear after approximately 10-18 days. Sow a new row every 2-3 weeks to extend your harvest period. Early sowings will benefit from cloche protection in cold weather.
Top Tips About Seeds
- Once the seed packet has been opened, the seeds can be stored in an airtight container until required for further sowings.
- Pea seeds will keep for a coupe of years.
- Although there are lots of seeds in a packet, repeated sowings through the summer is recommended, so they are unlikely to last more than one season.
Peas are not recommended for patio pots as they dry out too easily and it’s worth growing lots of plants for really useful size crops.
Generally peas are trouble free, the most common issue is mildew so a resistant variety such as this is ideal, regular watering in dry spells will also help prevent it. If pea moth caterpillar or greenfly prove to be a problem then future crops can easily be sown under insect proof netting to prevent damage.
Harvest from May to September. It’s important to pick the pods regularly to encourage further production and get the best possible yields. Pick pods as soon as they are ready, before the peas start to lose their sweetness. It usually take the pods 3-4 weeks to mature after flowering. Harvest from the bottom of the plant upwards. Take care not to damage the plants when picking the pods as this will reduce further cropping.
Ideas on how to use your Pea Petit Pois
Be sure to put the plant support in place soon after sowing, its easy to damage young plants if left too long. Covering with twiggy ‘pea sticks’ will also make it harder for birds to eat the tender young seedlings. As they emerge. To ensure really good crops, be sure not to allow the soil to dry out while the plants are in flower or while the pods are developing.
David Domoney is a Chartered Horticulturalist, Broadcaster, and Author. David has worked with a number of the UK’s leading garden retailers as a plant buyer and strategic consultant. With more than 30 years experience, in horticulture, David is as passionate about plants now as he was when he bought his first plant at a village fete.
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