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How To Grow Mange Tout Seeds
Mange tout, is a variety of pea that is grown mainly for its immature, edible pods rather than the actual peas. In fact, Mange Tout are probably one of the easiest vegetable seeds to grow, the plants are prolific growers and often produce a much higher yield than the shelling pea varieties. Mange tout can be eaten cooked, as in stir-fries, steamed or served raw.
Some growers prefer to sow mange tout seeds under cover in 7.5cm pots from March to April. This can help give you a head start and extend the growing season. Fill the pots with quality seed compost to within 2cm of the top, and then lightly firm down. Sow 2-3 seeds per pot at a depth of 3-4cm deep and lightly cover with seed compost.
Cover the pots with polythene or glass to retain moisture and then leave them to germinate, which should take 7-14 days, providing a warm temperature has been maintained. When the young plants are between 10cm and 15cm high they will need to be hardened off before being planted out into their permanent positions in May.
Alternatively, sow the seeds from March to June, directly to their permanent positions. The soil should have been well-prepared in advance by incorporating plenty of well-rotted organic matter. Sow the seeds 4cm deep at 5-7cm intervals along a flat bottom furrow. If growing in rows, allow 60cm between rows. After sowing, apply water and ensure there is suitable support for the plants.
You can make further sowings outdoors, every 2-3 weeks up until the end of June to ensure you have a succession of pea pods.
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Supporting the Plants
Providing proper support is essential to ensure healthy and productive Mange Tout plants. Here's how you can provide support for your plants:
Use Trellises or Netting:
Mange tout plants are climbers, and they benefit from vertical support. Install trellises or netting for the plants to climb. This helps keep the plants off the ground, reducing the risk of diseases and making it easier for you to harvest the peas.
Install Support Structures:
Place stakes or other support structures at the base of each plant. This gives the young plants something to cling to as they start growing upward. Sturdy bamboo stakes or metal stakes work well.
Pests And Diseases
Protect the young plants from slugs and snails and check for aphid attacks. All peas are very susceptible to both downy mildew and powdery mildew. This can be problematic when weather conditions are particularly dry.
Harvest the pods from June to September and pick them when they are young and before the peas develop. Harvest regularly to encourage further flowering and pod production. Surplus stocks can be frozen for up to 9 months.
Share your Mange Tout Peas growing hints and tips? Let us know with a comment below....
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