Last year I meant to keep track of how long it actually takes to grow vegetables, and the different stages/problems. Last year I forgot to make adequate notes. So then – if you’ve ever wondered how long it takes to grow peas or potatoes, here’s your answer.
Planted: 10th April.
Dug up: 9th July (3 months growing time).
These were grown from seed potatoes given to my girlfriend by a friend of hers. We were given loads, and have a tiny garden, so made the mistake of planting loads of them too close together into one potato sack (fully grown potato plants take up A LOT of room), and the rest a sensible distance apart, but in very poor clay soil.
Now I will confess that this is the second lot I dug up. The ones we planted too close together in the sack were tiny, and each plant had very few actual potatoes. I’m guessing this is because of lack of room, and lack of nutrients.
The ones in the clay soil did remarkably well, although the results did still vary, plant to plant, as you can see here:
Planted: 24th April.
Picked: 18th July (roughly 3 months growing time, as well).
On the 24th April, I planted maybe 10-15 seeds outside. I also planted another 6 indoors. The ones indoors grew faster initially, but the ones outside quickly caught up and surpassed them.
(Instructions from the RHS iPhone App say that peas should be grown directly into the ground outside, so there you go – I’ve confirmed what a load of expert gardeners already knew.)
The inside ones were added to the same mixture as the ones started outdoors, so they were all grown in a wooden trough, which was made up last year of soil, horse manure and compost. This year, all I did was add a bit of compost to it, before I put the peas in.
These seemed to start off pretty well, but from the time these started visibly showing outside, they were a little bit of a pain in the arse.
They would grow to maybe 10cm tall, and then something strange would happen. Where the plant stem went into the soil, it would become withered, and snap.
Given that the root looked fine, and the top looked fine, I couldn’t work out whether this was being done by an insect, or just something wrong with the plant or conditions. So I would remove it, and put another plant in there.
This happened over and over again. Of the 20 plants I started growing, this is why I’ve only ended up with about 5 plants. 1 in 4 as a success rate, seems very poor.
It was a mixture of pea plants, some being ones that my girlfriend was given, and some from a packet of B&Q-branded seeds.
Regardless, this is what I could pick today.
Sadly (and this is also a disappointment when buying fresh peas from a greengrocer), half a bowl of pea pods, equates to this many actual peas.
How Birds Eye make any money charging a pound for a packet of frozen peas, I’ll never know.
They tasted delicious though, so I guess that’s all that matters.