Dig for Victory Monthly Guides

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How to Grow Peas

Growing Peas BeansPEAS and beans are valuable garden crops. As both green and dried seeds, they constitute the most nutritious of all vegetables. They contain flesh building and energizing elements, and they should therefore occupy an important place in the family garden.

The green pods of the dwarf and runner beans are protective foods and should be eaten freely during their seasons.


Although peas thrive on soil which has been well cultivated and manured, they can be grown successfully in freshly broken land if it is deeply dug and well broken up. Early digging is important, no matter what the land, for peas prefer a well consolidated soil. If manure is to be given, dig it in during the autumn or early winter.

A sweet, non-acid soil is best for peas, so apply lime if the soil needs it.

Peas respond to the use of a fertilizer containing phosphate and potash, such as the ” National Growmore Fertilizer.” It should be worked into the surface soil prior to sowing. Apply evenly at the rate of 2 oz. per sq. yd.


Peas grow to various heights : dwarf, medium and tall. In view of the expense of sticks, the dwarf and medium are the most suitable for gardens and allotments. They can be supported by fewer sticks or by string stretched on short stakes inserted at intervals either side the row. The following can be recommended.

FIRST EARLY—Sow February and March :

Meteor, Superb, Forerunner, Foremost.

SECOND EARLY— Sow in March :

Pioneer, English Wonder, Little Marvel, Kelvedon Wonder, Progress, Peter Pan, Thomas Laxton.

MAINCROP—Sow in April :

Onward, Duplex, Senator, Advance Guard, The Lincoln.

For late crops, sow Meteor, Little Marvel and Onward in June.

If peasticks are available at little cost, satisfactory tall varieties are Pilot, British Lion and Gradus as earlies ; Alderman, Admiral Beatty and Lord Chancellor as maincrops ; and Autocrat and The Gladstone as lates.

Most of the varieties listed above are sadly no longer with us in Britain. However, some have survived through to this day. Meteor, still considered an excellent variety, is the only early easily available.

Of the second earlies, Pioneer is available in the USA but not here. Little Marvel, Kelvedon Wonder are both generally available and Thomas Laxton can still be sourced from heritage suppliers.

From the maincrop pea varieties; Onward, Senator and Lincoln (possibly not the same as the current variety)

Finally, of the tall pea varieties; Pilot, British Lion, Gradus, Alderman, Admiral Beatty, Lord Chancellor and Autocrat can still be had.