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~ Seed for PEAS ~

One of you scrawled across your order 'GARDENERS NEED PEAS!!!' a few years ago.

We couldn't agree more, and now we're definitely getting there, after our latest trials.

We have become interested in the possibilities of old-fashioned smooth-seeded peas,
as well as the wrinkle-seeded varieties now more commonly grown .

We offer both types here. Smooth peas do go starchy more quickly once the pods get big,
and so have to be picked young & small for a good sweet flavour.
But they have a big advantage too - they are much less likely to rot in cold wet soil, so you can risk a much earlier sowing.

We now like to sow smooth-seeded pea varieties for our early crops, and then wrinkle-seeded ones for the maincrop once the soil has warmed up. In warmer areas sow smooth-seeded varieties in late autumn for early crops the next year.



Here are some of both kinds for you to try, with dwarf and climbing varieties listed separately,
and also a couple of excellent mange-tout varieties.


Dwarf Pea Seed

plant picture Hatif d'Annonay
An improved early pea - the name means 'Early from Annonay' – and it does what it says!

The dwarf bushes are about 2-3 ft tall and really don't need any support. They do very quickly load up with lots of nice dark green pods.

Ideal for a first-early sowing.

Order PeHA - 200 seed £1.95



plant pictureOskar VERY, VERY EARLY - New Crop Back in Stock

This is a new dwarf pea we found back in 2011 when we tried out lots and lots of new peas, and this one really stood out in terms of earliness, and had a great taste as well - both fresh and cooked.

Oskar is a dwarf plant to about 3ft tall that makes extremely sweet peas right at the start of the season.  It has nice dark healthy foliage and bears a decent number of pods.

You'll want to grow some other peas as well, for it comes so early that it finishes by the start of summer, but it is great for delicious peas before any others crop.

Very early, very sweet. A favourite from our 2011 early pea trials, this is a first-early variety we discovered from the Czech Republic..

Order PeOs - 200 seed £1.89



plant pictureplant pictureCharmette - Dwarf petit-pois type

Our “Charmette” was first given to us by Andrew and Sarah of the Seed Ambassadors Project. We loved it the first time we grew it but it has taken several years to get it into the catalogue.

Here it is now - a truly gourmet ‘petit pois’ type of pea , making huge numbers of pods crammed full of very tender little peas, meant to be picked young and cooking only lightly. Exceptionally tender and well-flavoured.

This ‘charming’ variety needs little or no support if grown in double rows as the plants only grow to around 2ft tall.

Early gourmet pea, very rare.

Order PeCh - 200 seed £1.95



~ Climbing Pea Seed ~

plant pictureplant picture Serpette Guilloteau
A traditional climbing pea, to 1.5 m high, with curved pods of fat green peas.

The name is derived from an old French word for a special type of pruning knife, reflecting the remarkable sickle-shape of the pods!

Classed as ‘semi - early’ this makes a good second-early or maincrop pea. It has smooth seeds, so it can be sown early, but pick small for sweetness.

Fast growing, curved pods, slightly flattened sweet peas.

Order PeSG - 240 seed 1.99



plant picture Telephone Pea (very tall)

Now this is a well known variety that has stood the test of time. A tall vine that produces mid-season, here we recommend it as an early-maincrop pea. For us it grows to a good 6 feet tall, though others have written in to say that it gets taller (up to 9 or even 10ft!) for them.

Although various sub-strains have been developed over the years, its hasn't really changed from the description of 'Carter's Telephone Pea' in Vilmorin's famous book of 1885 on vegetable gardening.

It has heavy yields of large pods with sweet, non-starchy peas inside. We find that the pods always swell up a bit before the peas fill out, so don't be fooled into picking too early! This year they were ready to eat starting in mid-July, on over the summer, which is pretty good given what a cold year it has been.

Wrinkled seed, stays sweet longer in pods - but don't sow in cold wet conditions.

Medium tall vine, use as maincrop.

Order PeTE - about 190-200 seed 2.20

(And yes, to those that are wondering about the dating on this, we wondered too if this was quite right, but we checked, and the word 'telephon' (without the e) was in use by 1854 and the first patent was in 1876 by Bell, although his work was preceded by several other people. The real question is, of course, why should Carter want to call his pea after an effect first noticed when people were given electro-shock therapy in 1846? (their screams were transmitted over the wires they were holding). . . . They are a very good pea nonetheless!

Feedback: Mr P Woodcock of Norwich phoned to tell us: "I've been gardening for years and years and the variety of tall pea Telephone is fabulous! It beats Alderman hands down. I took them down into the pub and put them on the counter and showed them round. What do you think of that then? I asked them, everyone thought they were fantastic."



champion of england"Champion of England " Tall Pea: VERY RARE
Our new pea in 2010. The conclusion of a 4-year rescue project, here is your chance to grow a traditional UK variety that has been commercially extinct for years.

Champion of England is a really good, traditional tall pea to 8 - 10 ft, dating from the 1840's. But it was unavailable , other than seedbanks, for a long time. A few people sent us small samples of seed from time to time, but we couldn't get them to grow. All that changed in 2007 though, when Robert Woodbridge got in touch with a new strain of family-saved seed from Lincolnshire in the 1940's.

It grew really well, and more importantly, was true to the old descriptions. It was fantastic - the only reason tall peas have been abandoned commercially is that you can't harvest them with machines. But for home gardeners, they give a great return for a small space.

So, after a few seasons, we have bulked it up from his original handful, and have a very precious few sacks of seed now that you can try.

We'll let him give the history in his own words:

"I am going to send you some seeds of a Pea called Champion of England, my grandmother grew it in her very large garden in the village of Pickworth Lincs, I promised that I would always grow it and keep it going.

She got the seed from the head gardener at a big country house during the war where my grandfather worked as a carpenter repairing wooden greenhouses and cold frames.

As to the pea it grows to ten foot high and the peas are 8 to 10 per pod and you start picking from the bottom and work your way up, it prefers to be sown at the end of April to avoid the pea moth maggot and takes about 100 days to reach 10 ft."

For us this was an amazing find. It's the genuine tall strain, well maintained over the years, and we even know the location it came from. We think Robert's grandmother would have been pleased to know her seeds have saved this variety for gardeners everywhere.

Practically extinct, other than this harvest - hence the smaller packet. But 80 seeds should be plenty to be honest, as it is really productive. And as it is (like all our seeds) real seed - not a hybrid - you can of course keep your own seed for resowing.

Order PeCE - 80 seed for £2.60

Feedback: "I just wanted to say how magnificent your Champion of England peas are – they are going off like a rocket in my garden, so vigorous and healthy with their massive leaves, already up to 75cm even here in Yorkshire and having been planted straight into the soil. They are knocking the Hurst Green Shaft into a cocked hat and I wish I’d planted them on the allotment to impress everyone instead of in the garden where only I can see them!" Mandy S



lord leicester"Lord Leicester" Tall Pea: VERY RARE
We are really pleased to release now the second variety rescued in our ongoing heirloom pea conservation project.

This is another fantastic traditional UK pea that is sadly commercially extinct, but we have managed to regenerate it over a 5 year period starting with just a tiny handful of peas which we eventually tracked down in a private seed collection in USA.

So here we have it, a wonderful old pea we have brought back from the verge of extinction. It grows to about 5 or 6 ft tall, and the special thing about Lord Leicester is that starts to flower very early on, but carries on to almost the end of the season - so you get peas over a long period. The yield is good too - just look at all those pods in the picture!

As far as we know, this is extinct, other than our crop - hence the smaller packet. But 80 seeds should be plenty to be honest, as it is really productive. And as it is (like all our seeds) real seed - not a hybrid - you can of course keep your own seed for resowing.

Order PeLL - 80 seed for £2.60



~ Mange-tout Pea Seed ~

plant picture 'Golden Sweet' Yellow-Podded Mange-tout pea

This is a beautiful yellow podded pea that is very sweet eaten fresh or cooked. A rare variety, so do keep your own seed if you like it.

We have grown many mange-tout peas (if you've not tried them, you eat the wide flat pods) over the years but this one has always stood out head and shoulders above the others. It is a superb mange-tout pea, with beautiful yellow pods, tall productive vines, and a delicious crisp flavour.

The flowers are purple, & the pods are a wonderful lemon yellow colour, so we actually grow it in our front garden as a decoration! The yellow pods easy to see for picking, and great both raw in salads, or cooked as a vegetable.

Order PeGO - 100 seed 1.93

Feedback: Clare Maple, via email: "We are currently growing a crop of these peas. Our neighbour, himself a traditional gardener but always open to new stuff, was interested in them. We all shared a few, fresh off the plant, and agreed that they are probably the best tasting peas we have ever had."



'Bijou' Giant Sugar Pea (HUGE edible-pods)
This sort of pea - real old fashioned Giant Sugar Peas with 7 inch edible pods - used to be very popular but are now almost completely extinct.  The huge pods (the peas inside the pod in the photo are full-size) are sweet and juicy, and children just munch them straight off the plant.

Here it is then, after a 5 year project starting with a handful of peas found in a jar in a cellar, this is our own reintroduction of a proper Giant Sugar Pea as used to be grown in the 1880’s.

It matches the original description and engravings perfectly, even down to the pattern on the seeds and the number of seeds per gram.

We hope you enjoy it! You eat the whole pod raw or cooked. They're sweet and tender - & so huge that just a few pods are enough for salad or supper.

We've had really good feedback about Bijou since re-introducing it, with several people saying they would only grow this variety from now on.

Very rare, practically extinct. The pods are so big they're just silly.

Order PeBi - approximately 90-100 seed £2.80



~ Saving Pea Seed ~

plant picture plant pictureplant picture plant pictureplant picture

Peas don't in general cross very easily, so you can save seed from several varieties without worry. Here is our 'Golden Sweet' harvest.

But be sure that you don't plant types with similar-coloured seeds next to each other, otherwise you'll not be sure which plant they come from!

The tricky bit is getting your pea plants picked when they are fairly dry - we hang ours on an indoor washing line if it's rainy!

Then just stomp the peas out of their pods.

More detailed seed-saving instructions are included with your seeds, so you can do all this yourself at home.



The Real Seed Catalogue is produced by The Real Seed Collection Ltd , a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee.
~ Company No 5924934 ~ VAT No 841181938 ~ DEFRA registered Seed Provider No 7289 ~

Our Unique Guarantee:
We think these are the best seeds you can sow.
We will immediately refund or replace if you are in any way less than delighted with them, even including the flavour of the resulting crop!

Due to daft seed laws, some rare veg seeds can only be supplied to members of our Seed Club. But membership costs just one penny per annum. When we process your order, you will be charged
a penny for a year's Seed Club Membership. For more details see our terms and conditions.

Gardeners Should Save their Own Seed:
Because none of these seeds are hybrids,
you can save your own seed for future use: there's no need to buy new each year.

Saving your own is easy. You will get great seed, and great vegetables adapted to your local conditions.
Do have a go - read the seedsaving instructions we provide with every order, and also on this site.

~ We have sent out over 65,000 sets of home seed-saving instructions!~

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