Mange Tout is one of the oldest cultivated plants; evidence suggests it was successfully grown and eaten 12,000 years ago. It is a unique type of pea which is eaten in its pod either cooked or uncooked. They are commonly used in salads, stir fries and pies, adding a crunchy, fresh taste to any meal, and they are easy to grow.
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Make a small trench of about 6 centimetres (2 inches) deep in soil. Mange Tout can be grown in pots or allotments and does not require much room to grow.
Pour 2 centimetres (about 1 inch) of water into the bottom of the trench. The water should be cool; hot water can damage the soil.
Push seeds into the trench, leaving an inch or so between each seed to allow growing room.
Cover the seeds with another layer of soil. This should be a tall layer of around 4 centimetres (about 1.5 inches) in height.
Water the Mange Tout on a regular basis, ensuring the soil remains damp at all times. Refrain from over watering, which may damage the seed.
Repeat the process to plant another row, ensuring there is a minimum of 5 centimetres (2 inches) between the rows.
Remove the pods by pulling sharply when the pods measure between 1 or 2 centimetres (just under 1 inch). Repeat this action throughout the season until the pods become leathery and light green. These are the signs of the end of season, so the stems can be safely removed.
Tips and warnings
- Leaving Mange Tout for too long without harvesting will result in the pods turning into Mange Peas. These are still edible.
- Mange Tout should be sowed between March and July, and harvested between July and September.
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