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Tired of putting up pea supports

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  • Tired of putting up pea supports

    With more different pea varieties to grow this year, I'm looking for a more hands-off approach to supporting them. I've noticed the Swedes and Danish used to grow their old varieties up oats and barley. I have some tall rye seed and I'm thinking of using it in this manner. Has anyone here grown peas up other plants for support?

  • #2
    Pea supports are time-consuming, it would be great to find a more workable arrangement. I've only come across this type of system with forage peas. It's not something I've tried with tall peas.

    I'm not sure how tall 'tall rye' grows? But if it's tall enough for the type peas you have in mind and gives enough support then worth trying. Sorghum grows tall, this might e a possibility.

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    • #3
      I've been having the same musings about how to cope with more varieties this year. Using plant supports is an interesting idea but getting the timing right seems challenging. Do you know how quickly your tall rye grows. Lovely if the growth rate of both keeps. pace with each other but a bit difficult to predict perhaps. Have you grown the tall rye before?

      I've used cane wigwams with string previously which isn't too time-consuming. This year though I happened to have three hazels ready for coppicing so I had a lot of tall hazel sticks. I had some very helpful input from Galina who corrals her peas as they grow. So all I've done so far is to put my smallish number of plants for each variety between two hazel sticks with the intention of corralling the growth with string as they grow. I'm also using bottle cloches round each small group to protect against rodent and bird munching. The bottles also seem to be effectively protecting the young plants from being buffeted by all this wind we're having. But all this is unproven and might have all sorts of snags, such as collapsing in a gale.

      But good luck with the tall rye experiment. Looking forward to hearing how it goes.

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      • #4
        I do not know about rye, but I do know how strong a tall pea plant is. And I doubt any cereal has the strength. A second year tall sunflower stem might do, but even they do not necessarily stay upright in strong winds. For short plants 2-3 ft prunings will do well, but for tall peas you have to think along similar lines to tall beans, I am afraid. With the addition of a bit of bottom support as they do not wind in the same way as beans, but stick with their tendrils only.

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        • #5
          The tall rye is a subspecies known as Waldstaudenkorn or Johannisroggen, growing 2-3m.
          There's an ancient Norwegian pea, Jærert, that also grows 2-3m and was historically grown with barley and oats until the prevalence of the combine harvester. The pea plants likely spread horizontally a bit, jumping from stalk to stalk, as Deppe finds beans doing in corn.
          I don't have a source of pea sticks so I'm trying to work with what I have. It's true that mature pea plants can get very heavy. Maybe cereal and peas planted in a bed with 4 stakes and a string around the perimeter, like with broad beans, may provide adequate support.

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          • #6
            Very interesting. I can imagine that plan working well if you want to grow a lot of peas of one variety but in my mental picture it would be one glorious jumble inside your four stakes.
            I’d love it to work but at the moment can’t quite see how your stakes and string would supply enough support unless the different varieties were close enough to prop each other up and therefore likely to get entangled.
            Perhaps it all depends upon how good the tall rye is at staying vertical under pressure. I do hope you can make it work. The tall rye might then be very much in demand!

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            • #7
              The tall Waldstaudenkorn rye sounds very interesting. There is some information about it available online but seed seems scarce and difficult to source. Did you buy yours or get given it through a seed swap?

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              • Galina
                Galina commented
                Editing a comment
                Got me googling too. Secale multicaule, aka Waldstaudenkorn or Johannisroggen is perennial. And up to 2m tall. That is quite some beast of a plant. How do annual peas fit with perennial rye?

            • #8
              I bought it last year Jang - from a German organic seed-growing association, Dreschflegel Saatgut. I've purchased from them a couple of times (TPS, einkorn, old German turnips, Alliums, corn), good seeds and quick to deliver. For larger quantities, there are a few vendors selling wholegrains for consumption.

              Waldstaudenkorn's perennial behavior is derived from the stewardship of the farmer. I believe it is biologically an annual, but traditionally it is planted on St. John's Day in Midsummer (hence Johannisroggen) and mown in its first year. Then allowed to crop the following year. If sown in the spring, it can be mown a couple of times in the first year, and harvested in autumn of the next. It can be cut up to 3 times, according to a grower on Permies. So I would harvest the peas at one of these mowing times.

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              • Jang
                Jang commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks for your full explanation.
                I enjoyed looking at the Dreschflegel Saatgut website, helped by Google translate, and fell prey to the temptation to order three or four things myself. Interesting that they don't want payment until after delivery.

                Are you intending to start the rye soon?

              • triffid
                triffid commented
                Editing a comment
                Apologies for enabling a fellow vulnerable gardener :P I hope to sow this weekend

              • Jang
                Jang commented
                Editing a comment
                Well yes, vulnerability and susceptibility all round. But thriving on it, I like to think!

            • #9
              Intriguing.

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