Last Saturday (28th April) I finally worked up the confidence and got my cordon sweet peas (Pisum sativum ‘Midnight’ and ‘White Supreme’) out – worry about the cold, the size of the plants, and the beasties which like to eat young green things meant I’d left off planting them out until a little later than usual but I feel more confident planting them now than I might have a few weeks past.
First off, I dug a trench with a slight angle towards the canes.
The plants were placed in, tilted toward the canes (one per cane) and their roots spread against the side of the trench carefully. The pattern for my peas will be white-white-black-white-white-black etc. as I ended up with more than double the number of ‘White Supreme’ than ‘Midnight’ – this is perhaps not that surprising given that ‘White Supreme’ is an excellent cultivar, holding an RHS Award of Garden Merit. Once the plants were placed, the trench was then carefully back-filled and the plants gently firmed in.
Because I’m not completely cured of my worries, I’ve surrounded them with simple, temporary open-topped cloches. In a few weeks I hope to take these off and start tying the peas in to the supports. There were a few ‘spares’ which have been left at the end of the rows just in case – it’ll be interesting to see if they fare much different from those which were cloched as I didn’t have enough bottles to give them covers too.
I also managed to get my mangetout (Pisum sativum ‘Bijou’) out – though the fleece I put on to protect it caused the supports to become a sail and fall over later that night. They’ve since been rescued and none are worse for wear despite their ordeal.
One other job which has become more prominent as the last few weeks have gone on has been grass clipping – although we all share duties for the general area, the edges of each plot are maintained by each student individually. I used a half moon on mine a few weeks ago and as of this week am having to cut the edges with edging shears 1-2 times per week. It’s amazing how fast the grass grows with the least bit of encouragement from the sun!