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  • Alderman

    This variety is pretty much my favourite tall green shelling pea and one I try to grow every year. I've read it is meant to be the same variety as Telephone, but when I've grown them side by side, Alderman takes it on flavour for me.

  • #2
    There is confusion with Pea Telephone, because 2 different pea varieties are called Telephone, with some people naming Alderman 'Tall Telephone'. It is therefore difficult to know which variety is being talked about. This could explain why you saw differences (if you were growing the other Telephone).

    http://www.gardenfocused.co.uk/veget...y-alderman.php
    A further complication is expressed here. Alderman itself has been subject to genetic drift (being such an old variety). Therefore Alderman from different seed sources vary widely.

    Just as an aside, RealSeeds describe how they grew and checked several batches of another old pea variety - Champion of England - before they settled on the type they now sell.

    Genetic drift is a reality and a problem, especially because after re-selection by seed houses in an attempt to get a more uniform type for their customers, they may have significantly 'selected away' from the original.

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    • #3
      I don't think I've come across Gardenfocused site before, thanks for the link.

      I'm not sure I even know the source of my Alderman now, I'll have a rummage and see if I can track it down. I take your point about a variety being re-selected and moving away from the original, but life does evolve. I should imagine whether I grew Telephone or Alderman Tall Telephone alongside Alderman there may well have been subtle differences anyway?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by jayb View Post
        I don't think I've come across Gardenfocused site before, thanks for the link.

        I'm not sure I even know the source of my Alderman now, I'll have a rummage and see if I can track it down. I take your point about a variety being re-selected and moving away from the original, but life does evolve. I should imagine whether I grew Telephone or Alderman Tall Telephone alongside Alderman there may well have been subtle differences anyway?
        Yes indeed - add to that that the best performing varieties (like those that come out tops in trials at RHS in Wisley), may well under perform substantially away from the soil conditions and sunshine hours of Southern England! In the end, whatever the cultivar or the strain of a cultivar, it either performs well (or adapts well after growing from home produced seeds) or it does not. Alderman is your favourite. I have grown Alderman last year and was not impressed - will see what happens from my own harvested seeds though before I give up on the variety. Magnum Bonum from HSL here far outperformed Alderman and I was blown away by Champion of England this year.

        What is significant is that Alderman has been available to the general public in mainstream seed catalogues. Most of the Victorian tall peas can only be obtained through specialist sources, but Alderman seems to have managed to stay in the mainstream seed trade. That must be for a very good reason..

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        • #5
          I've grow Telephone (from Real Seeds) for the first time this year and there is a lot of variation between plants. The pods are different sizes, some have blunt ends and some pointed, some pods do that typical "old pea" thing of swelling up and tricking you into thinking the peas are a decent size when they are still only tiny (I learned to judge the size by squeezing the pod), most nodes have one flower but occasionally they have two, some pods have fairly thick walls and some are much thinner.

          I'm happy to see that variation, it means there's plenty of scope for adapting the race to my conditions.

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          • #6
            I think I'm going to have to revisit some varieties such as Magnum Bonum and Champion of England and give them another trial plus make better notes on how they do and taste here. I'm pretty sure I grew these two alongside Alderman a few years ago and it came out on top for my taste buds, maybe not in production though. I think location and soil content have a lot to do with growth and taste. I know Gower New Potatoes have a distinctive earthy taste which you don't often taste in others.

            Interesting you saw as much variation from real Seeds Telephone, good to know there is scope for adaptation. But it brings home how difficult it is for someone who wants to keep a variety as close to the original as possible when there is already varied types.

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            • #7
              That's true. But I guess it's impossible to preserve a variety perfectly anyway, there's always selection going on unless you do something strange like keep one seed from every single plant and sow them all every year and have perfect germination and no crossing and no plants lost to slugs or pigeons.

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              • #8
                I would think so too.

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                • #9
                  I took these pictures yesterday, I notice the tendrils are quite short.

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                  • #10
                    Gosh, my peas are a mass of straw!!! That's a photo from yesterday - how I envy you! Maybe I should learn to sow in February (as normal) and again late March.

                    Are these tendrils short because they are newly developed or are all tendrils short?

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                    • #11
                      My experimental peas are mostly dead, but a few are hanging on, with one in particular looking like the hot weather isn't happening at all! A useful trait if I can get it into a pea I'm actually interested in eating...

                      My eating peas are about done, although Guise and Golden Sweet are still putting out a few pods.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Galina View Post
                        Gosh, my peas are a mass of straw!!! That's a photo from yesterday - how I envy you! Maybe I should learn to sow in February (as normal) and again late March.

                        Are these tendrils short because they are newly developed or are all tendrils short?
                        I'm not sure about the tendril length yet.
                        I think March would be a bit early to have fresh plants now, mid to late May might be better. But you can then get problems from sowing later on so....?

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                        • #13
                          Several flowers now with the look of many more on the way, all appear to be singles.

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