I had a hard time finding them on-line and most of the places wanted more money than necessary for the seeds and for you to mortgage your house to afford the shipping costs which in most cases were more expensive than the seeds, themselves.
I went to a local farm supply store on a lark and sure enough, they had a four cubic foot bag just full of them. I took "a scoop" for $1.75. You can't beat that. Here's a picture of the bag minus a few hundred seeds I have already taken out.
The main bag did carry a yellow label which I wish I had gotten a better look at. I saw the words "Caution" and "Lower Than Average Germination," but for $1.75 for a scoop, I didn't think I could argue. The warning label was right. Sure enough, germination is about 20-30%. The seeds are covered in a pink coating which seems to absorb water and hold it in close to the seed, but all it seems to do is help the pea rot in the soil. I tried to uncover some of the seeds I planted a week ago and had a devil of a time finding any. The ones I did find were mostly rotted out.
I decided to try to pre sprout some of them in some paper towels. This way I'll get an accurate look at the germination rate and they'll hopefully take to the ground better once pre sprouted. Here you can see that the coating has already absorbed most of the water in the paper towel after only an hour.
The plants don't look like your average pea. Here's my Alaska peas. The tendrils are just now reaching out to grab the silly pea sticks I put out for them.
Here are two pictures of the zipper cream peas. Very different looking, aren't they; they're almost more bean looking than pea like.
I've read mixed statements on if they're a climbing pea or a short bush. Seems like no one has a good consensus. I put some string out there for them to run on, but it looks like they'll bush instead. I'll give them a week or so more and then take out the strings if it looks like they won't be using them. By then I'll also know if any of the second planting of peas came up and be able to fill the blank spots with the new crowder peas I'm trying to pre sprout. I've also heard conflicting things on if they're a fresh pea or ones you should dry first. I've tried to do my research, but I'm coming up flat. Anyone have experience with these or crowder peas in general?
I'm really, really, really hoping to get a good turnout from these guys. I'd like to have enough for a few dinners, but with peas, you always need much, much more than you'd think because once you shell them, you might as well have only picked two or three.
MMMM...peas. The morning comes early. Sweet gardening dreams.