We treat this plant as a pampering: we plant it most often for children. And sometimes it is fragrant or green. The first is for beauty and flavor, the second is for pleasure: to eat sweet peas. Few gardeners grow this vegetable, hoping for a serious harvest, harvesting for the winter.
Although peas are a very valuable vegetable crop, containing a rich set of vitamins and minerals. And yet-one of the oldest, Dating back thousands of years, it can be said that many European and Eastern civilizations were nurtured on it. This fact is confirmed by both material (archaeologists found dried peas in the excavations of the stone age) and folklore.
The popularity of the legume plant in the old World was explained, first, by the fact that it is a very satisfying and nutritious protein product, and secondly, Mature seeds (i.e. dry peas) can be stored for years. But … first vegetables from America, and then new technologies (conservation, freezing) noticeably pushed the peeling peas in European gardens and kitchens. Why grow, peel, store, and then soak dry peas for a long time, when there are tender, delicious and inexpensive canned peas on sale all year round, collected in the stage of milky-waxy ripeness?
That’s left this legume culture a place exclusively in the children’s garden, and then-mainly sweet sugar varieties, those that can be eaten directly in the crispy blades, since their leaves do not have a parchment layer.
Everything is purple!
Come, rip-regardless of the pod — and enjoy. However, to find green beans among the green leaves, you need to strain your vision a little more. But… recently, breeders have solved this problem by creating varieties with purple pods (peas inside are green). The color is achieved due to the increased content of anthocyanin (the same pigment that makes the pods of some varieties of beans purple). True, this substance, known as a useful antioxidant for the body, is destroyed when cooked, but we like to eat peas from our own garden raw.
And, of course, the benefits of these varieties are combined with beauty, the plants look very elegant: long shoots with juicy green carved foliage are decorated with thin tendrils-tendrils that cling to supports, and white or pale lilac flowers-moths (in some varieties they are also fragrant), and dark purple glossy beans.
So far, there are not many purple varieties on sale, but they are there.
- This is a sugar pea ‘Purple king’ – early maturing, its shoots are up to 100 cm high. Beans can be steamed, fried, or baked in the oven or microwave, but it is most useful, of course, to eat them fresh.
- Peas vegetable ‘Purple sugar’ refers to medium-ripened varieties. It should be grown on supports, since the height of the shoots is more than 150 cm. From seedlings to the first harvest takes about 60-70 days, and it is better not to let the beans ripen, because the blades still contain a weak parchment layer, but peas in the stage of milk-wax ripeness are very tasty – large and sweet. This variety is also suitable for freezing.
- Be sure to grow on the supports and another medium-ripened variety of vegetable peas ‘All purple’ — its shoots reach a height of 180 cm. This variety is not only beautiful, but also highly productive, numerous beans 8 cm long contain 7-9 peas.
Important: the beauty and originality of the colors of these varieties did not affect their requirements for growing conditions, it is still the same cold-resistant and quite unpretentious culture, which is sown in the open ground in late April-early may. And these varieties require absolutely the same care as the usual varieties of green peas.
Varieties of leafless peas
If you can’t eat the entire crop fresh, you can preserve it or freeze it. And those who are important, first of all, not the beauty, but the simplicity of cultivation and the duration of fruiting, should pay attention to the varieties of leafless peas. The foliage on these plants has completely transformed into tendrils, short light shoots, intertwining and clinging to each other, support themselves, so they are grown without supports.
One of the varieties is called ‘Leafless sugar slider’. This precocious pea variety (the period from germination to the beginning of technical ripeness 53-55 days) has one of the longest periods of fruiting among the early varieties. The plant is 70-75 cm tall. Beans are light green, slightly bent, narrow, up to 10 cm long.
Another variety of leafless peas – ‘Afilla’ – late maturing, the height of shoots 50-55 cm. Beans are dark green in color, large, each containing 6-9 sweet peas. Regular harvesting contributes to the appearance of new beans. Another advantage of this variety is its resistance to powdery mildew.