This week in the garden …

Freeze peas, deal with slugs, pick sweet pea and order seeds

Sat, Aug 9, 2014, 00:00

l It’s not unusual to be faced with a sudden glut of sugar snap and mangetout peas at this time of year, but any surplus can be easily home-frozen. Try to pick the tender, green pods before they become stringy, keeping in mind that regular harvesting also encourages the plant to continue producing.
l Recent rainfall has resulted in a sudden boom in the slug population, in which case organic gardeners will be relieved to know that a new brand of rainproof slug pellet is now available from Fruithill Farm (fruithillfarm.com). Called Derrex, it’s the successor to Ferramol (the first organic iron-based slug pellet available on the market) and is harmless to animals and birds.
l Keep picking sweet pea flowers to ensure a continuous display of colour. If any flowers have been allowed to go to seed, then remove the seed-pods as otherwise these will take energy away from the plant, reducing its ability to flower.
l Order seeds of overwintering salad crops such as winter purslane, pak choi, varieties of winter lettuce, rocket, mizuna and mustards such as “Red Frills” for sowing later this month. Reliable Irish suppliers include greenvegetableseeds.com, brownenvelopeseeds.com and seedaholic.com