Defenseless PEAS often don’t make it home from the garden! Yum!
- Go vertical to save space, keep your plants safe and fruit clean! Set up a trellis or tall cage.
- Get your peas. There are 3 kinds of peas – English shelling peas, Chinese snow peas, fat crunchy eat-‘em-off-the-vine snap peas! I plant and enjoy them all! Stringless is nice. Mildew resistant is great!
- At this time of year, plant from transplants. Or. Put in some from transplants at the same time as you put in some seeds. That is equivalent to about a 6 week succession planting pattern. Now through February, plant peas every month for continuous crop.
- Inoculate your seeds if you haven’t grown peas there for the last 3 years. If you had an area where peas grew well last year, grab some handfuls of that soil and put it where you are planting this year! Rhizobia makes for abundant production. Just sprinkle it on the seeds when you plant! At Island Seed & Feed, one T of inoculant for 6 LBS of pea seeds is only $2! It’s where the bulk seeds are.
- No manure, or very lightly, for peas, they make their own N (Nitrogen). That’s what legumes do!
- Peas germinate well at 40 to 75 degrees F, but the colder, the slower. Pre-sprouting is fair, in fact, makes sense! Sprouted seed will grow in soils too cool for germination. YES! Don’t you love it?! Easy peasy has true meaning here. Wet a paper towel on a plate, arrange your seeds on one half of the towel, not touching each other, fold the other half over. Put them in a zip plastic bag, seal. Put on a spot that maintains about 70 degrees. Check those pups daily, add a wee bit of water, spray the paper towel, if needed. Your peas will sprout in 4 or 5 days! Soon as they sprout, put them carefully into the garden, right below the soil level. Gently firm the soil so they have good contact. If any fail, start another round to fill the gaps.
- Space your pea babies about 2 inches apart. If you are putting in seeds, put them in about an inch apart, then thin when they are of a likely height that looks like their survival is assured.
- Birds? If those walk-abouts are a bother, get some of that garden netting, or lay or prop those narrow patterned plastic plant flats over them. When you aren’t using the netting on your peas, in spring & summer use it to cover your strawberries.
- Water. They like it. Every day until seeds are germinated, then once a week deeply.
- Now we are back to the trellis. When your plants are 1 foot to 1 ½ feet high, start weaving twine through/around them to secure them against winds and rain-heavy weight. Those cute little tendrils just aren’t enough to hold them. Before wind, rains, are predicted, check everybody to be sure all is secure.