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Alys Fowler’s gardening column: how to grow peas over winter

Hardy seeds can yield early crops – but beware hungry mice

Many people know to sow sweet peas in autumn for the earliest displays, but too few do the same thing for peas. It is quite possible to sow peas now until the beginning of November to get them established before the worst of winter. Then, with a little protection over the darkest month, they will arise triumphantly in early spring, when they will continue to develop, giving you fresh peas a month before any sown in spring.

You can’t go sowing any old peas for this method, however; they need to be hardy types. There are two types of pea seeds: round and wrinkled. As round seeds are smooth, there is nowhere for water to collect as they swell in the first stage of germination, so they can be sown in colder, wetter conditions. Wrinkled seeds have plenty of crevices for holding water and thus can only be sown in spring, when the soil is drier.

Related: How to take cuttings from cacti | Alys Fowler

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