How to grow Earthnut pea
SOW IN SPRING :
Earthnut pea (Lathyrus tuberosus) seeds need to be pre-soaked for 24 hours in warm water and then sow in early spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in early summer. Seed can also be sown in situ in mid spring when soil has warmed up. An easily grown plant, succeeding in any moderately good garden soil. It likes a sunny position but can tolerate a little bit of dappled shade. A climbing plant, scrambling through other plants and supporting itself by tendrils. You can give it climbing support, or let it use other plants for support or let it trail. Plants can grow over 1m tall and tubers are hardy ( not frost tender). Plants go dormant in autumn and re-emerge in the spring. Plants will develop seed pods in early autumn, so you can harvest and save your own seed too. For vegetative propagation divide the tubers when the plant is dormant in spring or autumn. Earthnut pea does not like to be grown in containers, it needs to be in the soil.
How to harvest and eat Earthnut pea
Earthnut pea tubers are harvested in autumn when plants are dormant. It is best to give them a couple of years to obtain a reasonable harvest. Yields are not massive, so this is more of an edible treat than a staple crop. You will need to dig deep to harvest the tubers and some are always left behind. Save best tubers for re-planting. Plants can throw out runners and pop up in a new place some distance from the parent plant. **TUBERS ARE EDIBLE – LEAVES AND FLOWERS AND SEEDS ARE NOT EDIBLE** Tubers can be boiled or roasted and are delicious. We advise that you eat a small portion first, as some people can have mild gastric upset with unfamiliar edibles.