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EARLY ONWARD PEAS
Early Onward are one of the most reliable varieties of peas, producing a good crop in almost all years. Slightly larger than average pods with an average of seven peas per pod. They have been a favourite of UK gardeners for several decades.
This article explains when and how to sow them in your part of the UK, ongoing care including how to support them for easiest harvesting. We also explain which suppliers offer reliable seeds of this variety at the best prices.
APPEARANCE, TASTE AND CHARACTERISTICS OF EARLY ONWARD PEAS
Early Onward are dwarf peas and you can expect them grow to a height of 60cm / 24in and a spread of 25cm / 10in. The pods are slightly longer than average contain an average of seven peas. When grown in the garden and eaten / cooked fresh they are sweet and tasty, they also freeze very well.
Disease resistance is fair to good although Pea Moth, can still be a problem. The best way round the Pea Moth problem is to sow your Early Onward in pots / cardboard tubes early in the season under cover and then plant them out when you would normally sow seed outside. Not only will this reduce losses from birds and other unwelcome visitors but the plants will also flower slightly earlier. The Pea Moth is in full flight from mid-June onwards and they may not get the chance to damage your peas if they are started off early.
A second sowing of Early Onward in mid-June will extend the cropping period and peas sown at that time will flower after the Pea Moth can damage them.
This is a dwarf variety but we strongly recommend giving them some form of support. Twigs up to height of 60cm / 2ft above ground are ideal supports. This stops the pea plants from flopping over onto the ground which reduces the chances of disease and also makes harvesting much easier. For much more general information on growing peas click here for our in depth article with a unique adjustable growing calendar.
POSITIVE POINTS FOR EARLY ONWARD
A tried and trusted variety grown for many decades. Good disease resistance. Crops reliably and well producing sweet flavoured peas. This variety was given an Award of Garden Merit by the RHS in 1993 which was reconfirmed in their 2012 trials. This is an open pollinated variety so you can save seeds and they will come true to type next year.
NEGATIVE POINTS FOR EARLY ONWARD
WHEN TO SOW EARLY ONWARD PEAS
The planting and harvest dates used below are correct for the UK average. If you want them to be even more accurate and adjusted for your area of the UK click here. It only takes a minute and the adjustment affects every date in this site and lasts for six months.
The date for sowing Early Onward peas is dependent on where you live in the UK and if you can cover the ground beforehand with cloches or black plastic. As a guide the best time sow pea seeds in the open ground is the second week of March and two weeks earlier when sowing under cloches / black plastic. Read our in depth section on sowing pea seeds at the correct time in your area of the UK by clicking here.
WHEN TO HARVEST EARLY ONWARD PEAS
Early Onward is a second early variety of pea and harvesting should begin in the first week of June and will finish three to four weeks later.
BUYING EARLY ONWARD SEEDS IN THE UK
This is a very common pea variety which is almost always available at garden centres, online seed merchants, supermarkets and other stores. The prices vary significantly, the cheapest of the reputable online seed merchants was Kings Seeds at £1.40 for 350 seeds.
We recommend buying your seeds from certified suppliers. We would avoid buying them from online general retailers such as as Amazon or E-bay unless you know exactly who is supplying the seed. Common problems buying seeds from non-specialist suppliers include poor germination rates and varieties not being as stated on the packet.