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Many of the seed companies are rather shy to mention that Meteor peas lack the sweetness of most other varieties. That's a shame because not only are some gardeners disappointed with the taste but also the real virtues of this variety are often overlooked.
Meteor is probably the hardiest of all pea plants making autumn sowing a real possibility in many areas of the UK. They also grow to only a short height making them ideal for windy and exposed sites.
APPEARANCE, TASTE AND CHARACTERISTICS OF METEOR PEAS
Meteor are dwarf peas and you can expect them grow to a height of 45cm / 18in and a spread of 25cm / 10in - that makes it a very compact variety which requires minimal or no support. The pods are shorter than average and contain an average of five peas. These are not the sweetest of peas so they need to be eaten / cooked very soon after harvest.
Disease resistance is good. Because the flowers are produced very early in the season Pea Moth is rarely a problem.
In many areas of the UK the peas can be sown in mid-September for overwintering. The crop the next year will be very early.
This is a dwarf variety but in windy situations they may need some form of support. Twigs up to height of 45cm / 18in 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 METEOR
A very early variety which can be started off with an autumn sowing. Very dwarf so it is good for exposed conditions. This is an open pollinated variety so you can save seeds and they will come true to type next year.
NEGATIVE POINTS FOR METEOR
Taste is not the sweetest. Our advice is to harvest peas when young and cook / eat as soon as possible.
WHEN TO SOW METEOR 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 Meteor peas is dependant 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 METEOR PEAS
Meteor is a first early variety of pea and harvesting should begin in the last week of May and will finish three to four weeks later.
BUYING METEOR SEEDS IN THE UK
This is not a common pea variety but is available from several online seed specialists. The most expensive (as normal!) we could find for Meteor pea seeds is T&M at £2.69 for 250, the cheapest of the reputable online seed merchants was Nickys Nursery at £1.35 for 200 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.