Monday, 18 June 2012

Out of date seeds-Peas

Healthy out of date peas-transplanted yesterday to the garden
I think I have a seed fetish, particularly for peas.The pea and bean tin is ridiculously overloaded, I cant put the lid on anymore! Last year I had 15 varieties growing in the garden and to be totally honest apart from the Irish peas which are too small to be really useful and the purple podded ones which stand out because they are purple I'd be hard pressed to tell you the difference between them, not in terms of taste anyway. This year for a cure I decided to sown out of date packs just to get rid of them and found a vintage 2008 pack(Magnum Bonum) from seed savers that had 30 peas left.I figured I'd sow that pack plus one other that was out of date and if 50% of both germinated that should be perfect for the one bed I have left.

You know what happened don't you? all 30 came up! Mind you the other seeds (Hurst Green Shaft), out of date since 2007 produced only 7 seedlings so far so the two will balance each other out in the end. If you are keeping pea and bean seeds from year to year I have found the quickest ones to go off are the dwarf french beans. Germination drops off dramatically each year so they are not ones to keep long term. Even Eileen who keeps her own seeds from climbing runner beans finds they go off after three years and must be replaced.If you have out of date pea seeds its worth giving them a go. And you are still ok to sow peas this month.I sowed mine in seed trays, covered them with plastic and left them outside the door where they germinated after about a week.

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