Hap(pea) travellers

It was inevitable that, at some point, my peas in their pipelines had to find their way from the guttering in our front garden several hundred yards up the road and into the allotment earth.

They’ve done pretty well in the gutters, germination was very high and the mangetout in particular (I think, I forgot which was which) were looking really healthy and shooting up quickly. The [probable] peas started well, but had begun to lose colour and look a little bit sad.

And now the time had come for their exciting adventure! Mr MBaF helped me manoeuvre both 2.5m dirt-filled gutters into the open boot, over the back seat, between the front seats and onto the dashboard (lucky I don’t have a nice, or clean, car!).

My trug provided an anti-wobble wedge, and we were off!


Mr MBaF was busy with DIY at the house, so once the legumes were loaded, I was flying solo. But it was surprisingly straightforward to extract the pipes from the car and carry them to the plot.

I used a bit of the allotment’s new muck pile, and dug over the area destined for the seedlings – before creating two shallow ditches.

I had thought that the rows of peas would be easiest to transfer if the soil was damp. But transfer of the first row (mangetout, I think) was a very messy affair, where I had to separate the row into smaller sections (breaking roots as I did) and push them along the pipeline. So I took a different approach with the second gutter, leaving it dry, and literally letting the row slide out into the prepared plot. This worked really well and was quick and clean.

I firmed the rows in, gave them a good soaking and stuck the pea sticks in along both rows for support. Then made some anti-pigeon foil ‘sails’ to blow around in the wind.

I know what you’re all thinking: it’s really a bit late to be planting peas. Yes yes, I know, and I’m not really expecting them to produce a crop. But it’s been a useful experiment for next year – a way to get my peas established without the bloody weevils having their wicked way with them.

And you never know, maybe we’ll have a late summer pea bonanza!


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