Last Sunday I sowed some more mangetout seeds but this time I reverted back to the “Oregon Sugar Pod” variety I normally grow. I managed to pick up a fresh packet of seeds for half price, whilst at the garden centre, having been thoroughly disappointed with the performance of the “Bijou” and “Golden Sweet” varieties that I had purchased from the Real Seed Catalogue.
It’s not the suppliers fault, rather that we have become used to copious amounts of pods from the Oregon Sugar Pod and neither of the varieties we have grown this year have come anywhere close in terms of quantity. Also the Oregon Sugar Pod is a lovely tasting pod and grows to quite a good size and the same is true of the Golden Sweet pod but the Bijou is not as pleasant and is quite stringy in comparison, especially if allowed to grow to larger than 4 inches in length. Considering that this pod is purported to grow to 7 inches, I can’t imagine how stringy it would be by then and would certainly need significant cooking and we like to eat our pods either raw or literally just thrown into a pan of boiling water as you take it off the heat.
Another notable observation from my experience is that the plants have started to die back much quicker than the Oregon ones I’ve grown in previous years and in case you think it may be the environmental influences of my own garden, please note that the school mangetout plants which were started off a few weeks after my own, have also started to die back. Dying back in itself isn’t an unusual occurrence which is why Mangetout growing is done on a successional basis, so you always have young plants coming up to take the place of the older, spent ones. It’s just that the two new varieties have started the process much sooner than expected. I do have another batch of Golden Sweet already planted out and growing up a wigwam and it will be interesting to see how these do in comparison to both the first lot and the Oregon.
All in all I am disappointed but while I won’t be growing the Bijou again next year, I will probably grow some of the Golden Sweet alongside my usual Oregon Sugar Pods because they do look pretty and taste a little sweeter.