Thomas Laxton Pea Seeds

$2.29

Thomas Laxton was a British seed grower and merchant who became a prominent authority on plant hybridization during the mid-1800s, renown for applying scientific methods to plant breeding. His list of achievements in the horticultural world is long and diverse, but Laxton was better known for his work on strawberries, apples and peas. Laxton was a long-time correspondent to Charles Darwin during the 1830s-40s and some of their early letters referred to Laxton’s work on hybridising peas. Laxton passed in 1893 and two of his sons released the ‘’Thomas Laxton’’ pea in honour of his horticultural achievements in 1898.

Thomas Laxton pea is a shelling variety that originates from rural England and has become a popular heirloom for being one of the sweetest English shelling peas. Compared to sugar snap peas, shelling peas takes more time to mature and the pods need to be shelled and disposed of. Only the peas are good to eat. The plants produce an abundance of 3-4-inch long pods with about 8-10 sugary peas in each. The vines grow up to 3 feet tall so it will need support to climb on.

Thomas Laxton Pea does well in maritime conditions and has good disease resistance. Being an early variety with cold resistance, it is better sown in early spring or late summer. Some varieties of shelling pea are a little starchy and best for canning, but Thomas Laxton is outstanding fresh and raw or immediately cooked, but they also retain their sweet flavour when frozen.


- Life Cycle: Annual
- Days to Maturity: 60-70
- Canada Hardiness Zone: 4-9
- Planting Depth: 2-4 cm
- Plant Spacing: 5-8 cm
- Row Spacing: 45-60 cm

GROWING INSTRUCTIONS

Peas are a classic garden legume that can be enjoyed in a number of ways.

Sow peas directly as soon as the ground can be worked, you want your crop to mature while the weather is still cool. To reap a late crop, plant peas 6-8 weeks before the first fall frost.

Crop rotation is important for peas, as they take nitrogen from the atmosphere and add it to the soil. Heavy feeding crops planted in former pea sites will take advantage of the excess nitrogen left behind. A location provided with full sun and well-drained soil will ensure prolific production. Set up trellises for vining, climbing varieties and stakes for bush types.

Seeds can be soaked overnight to hasten germination. Sow seeds 3 cm deep and 5 cm apart. There is no need to thin. After sprouts appear, apply mulch to protect sensitive roots and retain moisture. If mulched well, peas should not need much water, less than 3 cm/week.

Most varieties should be ready in 60-70 days. Check plants every day when blooming, pods ripen rapidly and hide well. Pick in the morning, as this will yield the crispiest and most flavourful peas. Eating as soon as possible after picking is another way to enjoy the freshest taste. Take your time and use two hands to separate pods from stalks, as the main stem can be damaged easily. Once the season is in full swing, pick frequently to encourage production.

1- Shell peas are also known as English or Garden peas. Their pod is tough and fibrous and cannot be digested, so this type needs to be shelled.

2- Snow peas, unlike Shell peas, are grown for their pods rather than the seeds inside. Snow peas have an almost flat shell with no distinct pea-shape inside.

3- Snap peas, also known as sugar snap peas, were developed in the late '60s by Calvin Lamborn, who wanted the sweetness of the green pea without having to do all the hard work of shelling them. The whole pod can be eaten raw or cooked. There may be tough strings at the seams of the pods that need to be removed, but stringless varieties are also now available.

Freeze sweet peas by shelling, blanching and packing into containers. Snow peas and snap peas will also freeze well. Just trim, de-string and blanch before packing into the freezer.

QUICK FACTS

- Peas originally grew wild around the Mediterranean basin and are one of the oldest cultivated crops. By the middle ages, peas were an important part of the diet of most people in Europe. Traditionally peas have been grown for their dry seeds, but by the 17th century, it had become popular to eat green peas while immature.

- Peas are a cool-season crop with three main types: Shell, Snow, and Snap.

- Pea seeds will remain viable for 3 years if stored in a cool, dark place, ideally between 4 and 10⁰C. After that, the germination rate may start to go down.

OUR SEED GUARANTEE

You know that a lush, fruitful garden needs good soil, frequent watering, and sunlight to grow, but it’s the seeds that really make the harvest.

Picked and bagged for 2022, the vast majority of our seeds have germination rates of over 85%. The seeds are all-natural, non-GMO, non-hybrid, untreated, and open-pollinated for seed saving.

We have put a lot of thoughts into the design and packaging of our seed packets. Our seeds are all carefully packed in food grade kraft paper/aluminium zipper lock bags, and then are shipped in eco-friendly padded mailers.

We heat-seal each of our seed packet for even more protection from moisture, odour and light, allowing you to store your seeds for up to 3x longer than paper or plastic. Plant them all, germinate some indoors, save some for next season - it’s up to you!