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Old December 29, 2019   #1
b54red
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Default Willet Wonder peas

I grew Willet Wonder peas last year and they did fantastic. I made a supporting rack which kept them growing up instead of curling up and making a huge mess and they got about 6 feet tall. I like this variety because it is a cold hardy pea that can be started in December or January so they can beat the hot humid weather that is very hard on peas down here. We usually have a very short window between the last freeze and when it is just too hot and humid so I have stopped planting the frost sensitive varieties. I planted a few rows about 10 days ago but we got 4 inches of rain a few days later and I'm not sure how good the germination will be but will plant another row this week if possible.

Does anyone else have experience with growing them?

Bill
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Old January 2, 2020   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b54red View Post
I grew Willet Wonder peas last year and they did fantastic. I made a supporting rack which kept them growing up instead of curling up and making a huge mess and they got about 6 feet tall. I like this variety because it is a cold hardy pea that can be started in December or January so they can beat the hot humid weather that is very hard on peas down here. We usually have a very short window between the last freeze and when it is just too hot and humid so I have stopped planting the frost sensitive varieties. I planted a few rows about 10 days ago but we got 4 inches of rain a few days later and I'm not sure how good the germination will be but will plant another row this week if possible.

Does anyone else have experience with growing them?

Bill

I've found that it's extremely hard to grow a variety that I've never heard of.



If you're into peas, you may want to do a search for Will Bonsall, if he's still active. I've heard he maintained something like 1,200 varieties (in Maine).
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Old January 3, 2020   #3
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Willet Wonder is an old variety that used to be quite common down here. It is still sold by some of the local seed sellers. I have tried a lot of varieties of peas and have enjoyed eating most varieties but found little consistency growing them other than WW due to our rapid weather changes in the spring. I don't believe I have ever had two good years in a row with any other variety so I am just going to stick with this one. It is just so much easier to plant them anytime from mid December thru January without trying to time the last frost. I haven't ever lost any to a hard freeze but I am sure it is possible.

Bill
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Old January 3, 2020   #4
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I am always looking for sweet peas LOL, and preferably wrinkled seeds and those to be pole types. Trellising seems to be easier picking for me as I get older too. I bend down just fine, but sometimes my "getting up" is not as good!
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Old January 4, 2020   #5
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I have heard of Willet Wonder but haven't seen it sold around here. After lots of trying stuff I've settled on Wando. They can take the heat if weather turns early.
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Old January 4, 2020   #6
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I've seen a lot of varieties, including new ones that get most of the press. I once had a collection of about 100, now down to about 60, and have grown maybe a third of that original hundred.



This year, I'm hopefully going to get a taste of Lincoln. It's an older variety, that from what I've read, is still claimed to be the best (sweetest tasting) of all.
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Old January 8, 2020   #7
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The Willet Wonders got about 5 to 6 feet tall last year on a trellis so they were really easy to pick without too much stooping. I too find getting up much harder now especially if I have been bending low too long or heaven forbid knelling.

These peas are sweet but not anywhere near the sweetest that I have tried. I find them just right between the super sweet snow peas and the more starchy big peas that I have tried. The pods are fairly small usually around 3 to 4 inches long just chock full of medium size sweet peas that shell easily. They are very productive and I just love not having to time my seed planting due to their frost hardiness. They really need to be trellised though because when they are left to their own devices they will curl up into a messy ball. You can still get a decent crop from them but not nearly as good as when trellised. Powdery mildew and aphids are not as much of a problem when trellised also.
I think they may be one of if not the best pea for growing in the south where spring can turn to summer so quick.

Bill
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Old January 8, 2020   #8
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Looking forward to hearing how they do for you! Summers have been coming earlier and earlier to PA.
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Old February 14, 2021   #9
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I am a novice. just got a pack off the rack at Lowes by Morse .
It is called SUGAR SNAP. Thats how I like them , sweet.
as long as I get fair production.
Can,t wait to sow them.
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Old March 15, 2021   #10
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I am growing four rows of Willet Wonders this year. The first two rows were planted in mid December and are about two feet tall now and starting to bloom. The other two rows were planted between mid January and mid February. We had a lot of heavy rain during that time and so I had to fill in some gaps by planting more peas so those last two rows are between 10 and 4 inches tall. They will not ever get as tall as the first two rows but should get around four feet tall. I did the same thing last year planting at different times and production was good even on the last row I planted. I'm hopeful this year will be even more productive than last year.

Bill
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Old March 17, 2021   #11
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BREAKING. My snap and snow peas are poppig. .
Gotta work on treliss or some sortiert of climb/support. Probably I will do strings. .
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Old March 29, 2021   #12
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Gardeneer, go to Lowes or Home Depot and look for the light weight construction barrier bright orange fencing. It is very light and easy to handle yet strong enough to even use with cucumbers and it will last about two to three years depending on how long it is in the sun. The stuff is 100 feet by 4 feet and only around 30 dollars much cheaper and easier to use than most garden fencing.

Some of my peas are now up to 4 ft tall and blooming like crazy with some peas already starting to fill out. I may be able to pick a few by Easter. My later planted ones are only about a foot tall and haven't started blooming yet. I really got a much later start on them than I originally intended and had to keep filling in the blank spots. We had so much rain it actually hurt germination.

We had so much cold this year that it even messed up my Brussels Sprouts. Despite losing a lot of lettuce, some cabbage and a fair amount of broccoli all of which were covered my peas weren't damaged and they were uncovered.

Bill
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Old April 14, 2021   #13
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My back is killing me. I started picking peas yesterday. A lot of bending and stooping to find them in all the pea vines. I am now working on the second row of peas. I picked nearly three gallons of unshelled peas yesterday. The third and fourth rows are putting on some blooms but not as many as they should so they may not be nearly as productive. I'll just have to wait and see.

Bill
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Old April 14, 2021   #14
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Remember to let some of the plants go to seed to collect for next year!
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Old May 2, 2023   #15
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My last row of peas was just left to go to seed and not picked until the peas dried in the summer heat last year.

Now I have plenty of seed and they have done well this year with my wife shelling non stop for the last week. We now have over two gallons of shelled peas that need blanching and freezing. I am tired of picking peas but it appears that there are more peas ready on the plants so I may try picking some more today.

Bill
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