Peas Need Lime & Deterring White Butterfly

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White Butterfly

Peas are definitely worth growing at home.

There are two broad groups, one is the flowering sweet pea which have a good range of flower colours, the other is the edible pea, Sugar Snap are best. They’re very easy to grow, with all peas you just poke the seeds into damp soil and don’t water until the shoots come up.

You do, however, need something for them to climb on. All peas need a trellis or some mesh or it’s even a good idea to put a stake in the garden about every 60cm and run a string line to get them growing on and you add more rows as they grow. All peas require lime (liquid limes are best) as they originally come from areas with a lime soil. Also available in liquid form are dolomite and gypsum. Gypsum doesn’t alter the acidity or alkalinity of your soil.

Lime is essential as all garden and agricultural fertilisers are acidic, and over the years as you fertilise your lawn or your vegetable garden etc, it’s always becoming more acidic, that’s why lime, every so often, is good just to keep the soil in the mid-range. Why? Because you need a soil which is around neutral, in other words, neither too acid nor too alkaline, has all of the chemicals that plants need available. When soils become very acid or very alkaline, a lot of the key elements that plants need to grow on are not available, and they become insoluble.

So lime does matter, but always buy the liquid lime, more expensive to buy but far cheaper to use. Powdered lime contains lumps of rock that don’t easily break down. The bottle Don was using says ‘Super concentrated, this equals 80kg of lime’ and the heavy bag of powdered lime Don was holding contained 10kg.

A problem you may come across in your vegetable garden is cabbage white butterfly.

You’ll notice the green caterpillars munching on your vegies. They’re fairly veracious eaters, some people laboriously pick them off, some people put broken white egg shells all around the area to trick the butterfly into thinking there are other cabbage white butterflies around and go lay their eggs elsewhere.

There is another solution called Spinosad, which is a natural soil bacteria and it will kill those caterpillars. It’s best to go for natural soil bacterium products rather than the toxic stuff.

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