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Asparagus Peas

biofreakbiofreak Posts: 753

I have just received my seed order and am trying asparagus peas for the 1st time. Has anyone else any ideas on these. Are they easy to grow? Do I soak seeds first as I do with all my peas? There are a very few in the packet and I do want to enjoy them. Do you eat the whole pea? Can they be grown in pots instead of rows? Does anyone know?



  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 14,385

    I have grown asparagus peas. If the weather is dry they do need a lot of watering. I live in Dordogne and one hot summer they weren't worth the effort. However, they are delicious if you pick them small and young, only about an inch long. You eat the whole pod. I grew them in the ground. The flowers are very pretty. But I don't soak any of my pea seeds and they always germinate. Just keep the soil damp.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • biofreakbiofreak Posts: 753

    Hi Buzy-Lizzie I'm in Normandy opposite Jersey! Think I shall order another packet, as thanks to you they sound like a good idea in our milder climate. I always soak my peas for a morning or afternoon as I find they sprout quicker and also seem to put off voles.Kelvedon Wonder is the best one for me despite all the French varieties. I still return to this old favourite which is easily available here.

  • Lupin 1Lupin 1 Posts: 8,916

    Biofreak & Lizzie.

    If I remember correctly they needed a high germination temperature, I had to do mine indoors.

    For me they were a waste of time. Lovely flowers but that's best I can say. They took a lot of room in the plot, grew rapidly, needed picking everyday, picked them very small. I didn't think they tasted of anything, in fact they were unpleasant in the mouth. I tried steaming, braising, stir frying and I ended up throwing them away.

    Hopefully they will do better in a Normandy climate as they do in the Dordogne. Please let me know what you think when you harvest them.

  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 3,255

    Utter waste of time. If you do not pick them with the flower still on, the pod is so stringy as to be completely inedible. Even when picked tiny, they are rather tasteless. Rarely find anyone growing them twice.


  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 14,385

    I'm not growing asparagus peas this year as they need so much picking and watering, but I'm growing mange tout peas which did really well last year and are great in stir fries. They froze well too. I also grow Kelvedon Wonder, much the sweetest and most reliable. Easily available here too. My mother used to dip her peas in paraffin to stop the mice eating them.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 14,385

    Now seen Berghill's reply too. They were nice if picked very young and watered a lot, I think the warmth here helped them to grow quickly so they were tender. But if picked too late they were stringy and horrible.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • Agree that they are horrible! The red flowers were pretty though.

  • biofreakbiofreak Posts: 753

    Oh dear - Will not buy a second packet - but will report back on my thoughts!

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 19,934

    Grew them once.  Never again.  

    I stick to proper peas now and sometimes mangetouts or sugar snaps.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,167

    I grew them one year, but missed the 'nano-second' when they were the right size. Too big and sprawling for my veg bed.

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