Yes it's been a while since I posted here. I'd love to say I've been really busy having a life, but I can't. Instead, the next few posts will document my garden adventures this year. Let's start with the mangetout peas I grew.
Peas are a relatively new addition to my garden. Until 2011 I hadn't ever grown them before and it was only Rebsie Fairholm's website
that persuaded me to try them. I bought my seeds from The Real Seeds Catalogue, choosing the mangetout varieties "Golden Sweet" and "Bijou". The former is a tall, yellow-podded, mangetout variety; it's very pretty and even has pale yellow tendrils and growing tips. You can read Rebsie's review of it here.
The latter variety is a very tall, green-podded mangetout variety that produces huge, inch-wide and six-inch-long pods--yes really! Sadly I ate them all before I managed to take any photographs.
These varieties—I rew areound forty plants of each—performed very well in my garden this year, but succumbed to the hot weather in July and were covered in mildew. Part of the reason I grew so many plants is to harvest the seeds. I want to take some to my local seed-swap next year—hopefully to exchange for some other interesting vegetables—and to acclimatise them to my garden's soil and microclimates. another—more intriguing reason is so I could cross-breed the varieties to produce—nature-willing—a new variety with large, yellow pods. Now that
would be really special!
My attempts at crossing the varieties largely failed; either the pods didn't set or they stalled before producing anything like seeds. I did, however, produce one single—and very precious—seed that I hope is a F1 "Golden Sweet x Bijou" cross. So what sort of plants am I likely to get from this spawn of my shenanigins? Well, both varieties have the recessive "edible pod" genes, so it's likely I'll get that trait. Golden Sweet's yellow-pods come from a recessive gene called gp, but Bijou's green pods come from a dominant gene, so I'm expecting green pods from the first generation. The trait of tallness is also dominant, so I expect the F1 plant to be tall. Both Golden Sweet and Bijou have red splodges in the leaf axils, but I don't know whether that is dominant or recessive. I also don't know whether the gene(s) controlling pod size are dominant.
With luck, 2015 could see the start of
my bid for world domination of the pea
a new, unique variety of mangetout. I can hardly wait to see what grows from this precious offspring.