Alderman Shell Sweet Pea Seed
Alderman Shell Pea seed is sometimes called Tall Telephone Peas and these are open pollinated seed. 85 days. These will climb a 6-8 foot trellis. The huge pods, each filled with 6-8 peas, are easy to harvest and shell. Alderman's large peas have that finest-of-all flavor and the plant allows many pickings. A late-maturing variety but sow as soon as the ground can be worked in early spring. These are reliable and hold up well to freezing or canning. Delicious fresh or lightly steamed in a 7 layer salad.
About 125 seed per pack and sows a 15 ft row. Packed for 2017. Lot #391. 86% germination.
Pea Culture: Peas are legumes with moderate fertility requirements. Avoid excess nitrogen: they can fix their own. Use a legume inoculant as an aid. They prefer cool, moist weather and dislike dry heat. Sow as early as ground can be worked for best yields. All peas produce more when they are staked; varieties over 2½' must be supported. Use either trellis or chicken wire. Install support at planting time to avoid disturbing seedlings. Plant 8–10 seeds/ft on each side of supports in double rows. Set supports for rows 3' apart (5' if very tall varieties).
Young plants are very hardy but frost stops production at the blossom or pod stage. If you love peas as much as I do, try for a second crop in the fall. Timing is crucial, as peas ripen slowly in the cool of September, and frost will halt production. We recommend planting the first two weeks of July for a fall crop in central Maine. Warmer areas try later July. If the summer is hot, cool the soil with a hay mulch in advance of planting, or shade peas with tall crops to hold in soil moisture.
Peas are 25% sucrose by weight and lose nearly half their sugars within 6 hours at room temperature. Keep cool and shell as soon as possible after picking for freezing.
Minimal soil temperature for pea seed germination: 40°. Optimal range 50–75°, optimal temp 75°. Emergence takes only 6 days at 77°. Forsythia flowering signals time to sow snap and snow peas.
Powdery mildew looks like someone sprinkled talcum powder over the vines. It spreads rapidly when picking occurs in hot dry weather. Pick in early morning while the dew is still on the foliage to slow its spread and ensure best flavor. As a preventive, always sow peas on well-drained soil. Fusarium infested soils are said to be pea sick. Do not save seed from plants afflicted with fusarium, which can be seed-borne. Rotate out of legumes for at least 4 years. Brassicas, especially mustard greens, are good disease-suppressant successions.