Peas

Pea (Pisium sativum)

Easy to save
Family: Fabaceae
Pollination: Self fertile, perfect flowers
Populatuion Size: Minium one, preferably ten or more
Isolation: Easy. Separate varieties by 3-6m, time or physical barrier
Cross pollination: Low risk (within species) by insects
Processing: Dry method
Viability: 3-5 years
Peas are an ideal place to start seed saving as they are truly easy peasy. There are three groups of peas. Smooth-seeded peas
are starchier and hardier than wrinkled-seeded peas; edible-podded peas are more commonly known as sugar peas or mangetouts.

GROWING FOR SEED SAVING
It is possible to grow several seed crops in a larger home garden, if possible 3-6m separation should be kept between varieties. Tall varieties of pea need support sometimes as high as 2m. Seeds should preferably be planted direct as they dislike being transplanted and sown at a depth equal to about twice their size. ​Rouge out any plants that show odd characteristics particularly changes in leaf structure, flower color, pod size or seed character.

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Hot tip – Protect seeds and seedlings from birds, slugs, snails and other pests. Young seedlings are irresistible
​COLLECTING THE SEEDS
​The pods will appear after the flowers open and will develop over a few weeks to eating stage. About three weeks after the eating stage the pods will dry and the peas inside can be rattled (depends on variety). This indicates the seeds are mature and ready to harvest. Pick the pods and then shell out the peas. Dry further by spreading on a tray in an airy location. When dry the peas will split rather than crush and will be impossible to dent when pressed wit your fingernail.

STORING SEEDS
The seeds should be sorted and checked before being stored. Select large, well formed peas with no insect damage. If insect damage is present/suspected then freeze the dried pea seed for three days in a domestic freezer.  As with most seeds the trick to long storage is cool, dry and dark. Ensure they are properly labelled and drop off at the seed library.


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PEST ALERT – PEA WEEVIL
Currently the Wairarapa is on a pea lock down due to the imported pest Pea Weevil (Bruchus pisorum). It looks like they have it controlled but keep an eye out for this unwanted organisim.
For more information check out the MPI website for more information.