Propagation

Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow in early spring in a cold frame[8]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.

If you have sufficient seed, then it can also be sown in situ in mid spring[8].

Division of the tubers when the plant is dormant in spring or autumn.

 

Cultivation

An easily grown plant, succeeding in any moderately good garden soil[8]. It prefers a limestone soil in a warm position[9], and likes some shade[10].

A climbing plant, scrambling through other plants and supporting itself by tendrils[11]. It tends to be slightly invasive[12] with new stems emerging at some distance from the parent plant[11]. The earthnut pea has occasionally been cultivated for its edible root[3][13]. Slugs are inordinately fond of this plant and will totally destroy it given a chance[K]. A good bee plant.

This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[8].

Additional information for Earthnut Pea

 Belongs to the following Article

Nitrogen fixing plant species suited to temperate climate such as North Canterbury New Zealand

Nitrogen fixing plant species suited to temperate climate such as North Canterbury New Zealand

Nitrogen is an essential element for plant growth. Certain plants have a useful ability to capture nitrogen from the atmosphere. This is often achieved through symbiotic relationship with fungi in the root zone. Being able access unlimited nitrogen allows these plants to grow quickly while also making some available to surrounding plants. The practical reality is that including nitrogen fixing plants of various shapes and sizes amongst other productive plantings improves overall health, vigour and fertility,