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Exceptional flavour is well worth the 2-2.5m (6-8') tall trellis these need. Alderman shelling pea seeds produce huge pods with eight or nine peas each over a long harvest window. The pods are easy to pick and shell. Check a few to see if they are filled before picking the whole crop. Alderman is an old heirloom variety, selected from the Duke of Albany pea strain. This noble pea has been grown in country gardens since 1891, and is known in many seed catalogues as Tall Telephone, Improved Telephone, or Rondo o Alderman. This variety is not enation resistant, so it's a great choice for earlier planting in February and March.
Alderman is an excellent choice for canning and quick freezing, or just picking out of the pod right in the garden.
Matures in 70-78 days. (Open-pollinated seeds)
Peas prefer cool weather. Plant as early in spring as the soil can be worked. If planting on the west coast after April 1, sow varieties that are listed as being enation resistant if you live in an area where aphids carry the enation virus. Sow again through the summer for a fall crop. The success of a fall crop will depend on the weather. Optimal soil temperature: 10-20°C (50-70°F). Seeds should sprout in 7-14 days.
Soaking seeds is not advised for damp soils. Sow seed 2cm (1″) deep. After April 15th, sow seed 5cm (2″) deep. Space seeds 2-7cm (1-3″) apart in the row. Do not thin. If the seeds fail to sprout, try to dig some up and check for rot or insect damage. The challenge with untreated pea seeds is to give them an early start but to avoid rot.
Superb companions for beans, carrots, celery, corn, cucumber, eggplant, parsley, peppers, potatoes, radish, spinach, strawberries, and turnips. Avoid planting peas near onions.
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