One of the varieties of peas we are growing this season is called "Tacoma Afilia." I first grew this great little bush pea last year and was absolutely delighted with the results. Not only did it provide us with two nice harvests of sweet uniform peas, from successive plantings in the same location, but was easy to work with as this particular bush pea has been gifted with many more tendrils and fewer leaves than your average pea vine, allowing it to easily grasp on to any support provided for it. In our case, we normally like to use field fencing as a trellis for our peas.
Most of the pea pods can be found towards the top half of the plant and being semi-leafless we found that last years second crop did not suffer from the powdery mildew that often affects our late season crops. The plants grow rapidly once they have germinated reaching a height of approximately 3', tall enough to easily pick off of but not so tall as to shade our other plants. This gave us the distinct advantage of being able to pretty much plant them wherever we wanted unlike our pole peas that must be grown in specific locations so as not to block out the much needed sunlight from surrounding plants in the garden.
When you take into consideration the fact that these compact plants mature in about 60 days or less allowing for multiple crops, they are, in a sense, more productive than our much longer maturing pole peas that we are not able to replant in this manner due to our short growing season and issues with late season mildew.
One must be careful while picking lest Afilia's wild grasping tendrils take hold and pull you in.
The above pictures were taken a week or so ago, today I noticed that the flowers are fading and being replaced with peas.
the beginning of the end
2 hours ago