Minding my P’s and Q’s

Actually, just my peas. It’s a lovely day outside, so I have been spending some time in the garden.

During the “wettest drought in UK history”, I must admit I’ve not been doing anything out there, or even thinking about it much. During my negligent period, there have developed a scattering of weeds in the gravel, but these pulled easily, as the membrane stops them taking hold.

I was delighted to see that my broad beans have loads of pods, and started to pick them. That made me think about my sugar snaps, and I suddently realised I may have blundered.

When planting out 3 of my 4 troughs (the fourth is still unplanted), I decided to plant some brocolli. I have always been unlucky with brassicas, but thought I would have better success this year, by covering that trough with support hoops and net. After planting what i thought was a reasonable (for me) amount of brocolli, it was only taking up half the trough, so I planted two double rows of sugar snaps in the other half.

It only occurred to me today – how were the plants going to pollinate, if covered by a net? In a panic, I removed the net, and had a look at the plants for the first time in about 3 weeks. They are very healthy and climbing all over the frame I built. Not a flower on them, but more to the point, no petals lying around the plants, either; so they haven’t flowered – it’s not too late.

Coming up to the computer to check when they bloom, it seems like it could be any time now. However, according to my sources, peas don’t need insects to pollinate, under normal circumstances – wind normally takes care of it.

So I think I will cover the plants over again, before the cabbage whites appear; and when my peas flower, I’ll go over them with a soft artist’s brush.

Brocolli looks amazing, by the way. Best I have ever grown, and heads are forming already.

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