Asparagus pea seedlings

Asparagus pea seedlings

(aka Winged Peas). This is my first year trialling asparagus peas. They are supposed to be fairly easy to grow, nice-looking plants. They produced winged pods which you pick and eat young for a flavour somewhere in between asparagus and peas. As my asparagus track record is not very good, I’m keen to see how these work as an alternative.

I started the seeds off in a heated propagator and they went in to the ground (some in the allotment, some in pots) in June.

How to grow

Keep compost moist until seedlings are established. From early June, plant out the young plants into a sunny site in well-drained soil.

Plant about 20cm/8″ apart.

Plants are bushy and don’t need any extra support from canes etc. They can be used as ground cover, or under tall plants, or in hanging baskets. Keep well watered.

Harvest 12-14 weeks after sowing (July to August). Pick the peas when they are 2.5cm/1″ long. If you leave them longer they will be tough. Pick frequently to encourage more pods.

After the first crop of peas finishes, cut the plants back by half and give a dose of liquid feed to encourage a second, smaller, crop of peas in the autumn.

Cooking and eating

Remember to pick only small pods for cooking. Slice the pods finely crossways to give a X-shaped cross section. Cook quickly: either steam or stir fry.