HOW TO GROW ASPARAGUS PEAS FROM SEED


The Asparagus pea - Lotus tetragonolobus, also known as the 'Winged pea' is an edible herbaceous perennial from the Fabaceae (bean) family. Native to the warm temperate regions of the Old World it is becoming an increasingly popular summer crop in the milder regions of Ireland and England.

How to grow asparagus peas from seed
It is a nutrient rich species, and all parts of the plant are edible. Typical to many members of this genus, the Asparagus pea grows as a low bush. Under favourable conditions you can expect it to grow to approximately 50 cm in height.

Despite its tropical origins the Asparagus pea is an easy to grow, vegetable with a unique gourmet flavour, although asparagus flavour is a bit of a stretch.

To make the most of the comparatively short English growing season, sow Asparagus peas under protection either indoors or a heated greenhouse in the early spring. Soak the seeds in tepid water for a few hours before sowing the seeds individually in 7.5cm pots. Use a good quality seed compost such as John Innes 'Seed and Cutting'. Gently water in, then place the pots inside a heated propagator at a temperature of 19-21 degrees Celsius. Close the vents to maintain humidity. You can expect germination to occur in approximately 7-14 days. Alternatively place the pots inside a sealed clear polythene bag and position on a warm windowsill, bu one which does not receive direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day.

How to grow asparagus peas from seed
Once all risk of late frosts have passed, and the roots have established in their pots, they can be hardened off to outside conditions over a period of 10 days to 2 weeks.

Asparagus peas prefer a light, well-drained soil in a sunny position. Rake the soil to fine tilth before planting. Plant outside into their final position 30 cm apart. On heavy soil plant the seedlings into a ridge to improve drainage.

Harvest the pea pods regularly, while they are still young and tender. Don't allow them to get more than 3cm long as this will affect the flavour.

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HOW TO GROW ASPARAGUS PEAS FROM SEED

4 comments:

Unknown said...

You've mixed the tropical winged or four-angled bean up with the Mediterranean Tetragonolobus purpureus,
called asparagus pea.

Simon Eade said...

Hello Unknown, Thank you for your comment but I am not sure your identification is correct. The flower of the Four-angles bean is blue and the foliage is distinctly heart-shaped, not rounded as in all three images. Please confirm which photo you have issue with and I will investigate. Kind regards, Simon

Unknown said...

Your description is of the tropical vining Psophocarpus tetragonolobus (which I ate regularly when I taught in Malaysia).

Your photo is of the small Tetragonolobus purpureus, a plant I regularly grow in my garden in Canada.

Diane

Simon Eade said...

Hello Unknown, I understand now, and changes have been made. I am not sure what went there but thanks for the heads up.

Kind regards, Simon