I have a decent patch of autumn fruiting raspberries in my garden at home, they grow a little wild sending out runners everywhere but I quite like that. During winter I chop the whole lot down to the ground and put the spent canes somewhere dry, usually the greenhouse or shed. When the time comes to sow peas I use the old raspberry canes as pea sticks, pushing the canes into the soil around the pea rows. Not only do they give the pea plants something to cling to as they grow, the spiky canes form a sort of barrier, protecting the young seedlings from pests such as slugs, snails and pigeons.
My favourite pea to grow and eat is a variety called ‘Jaguar’, the plants need support even though they don’t grow very tall due to the weight from the lovely full pods. A length of chicken wire and a couple of 3ft garden canes pushed through each end of the wire is all you need to give the plants an extra something to grab onto, although the raspberry cane pea sticks do the job just fine for shorter growing varieties.
Spent raspberry canes make great pea sticks and best of all they’re free and readily available!