Last Sunday I picked my first peas. I showed them to you on Monday's harvest post. I had a total of three snowpeas. They have since been eaten in a nice stirfry along with some Komatsuna, Chinese cabbage, mizuna flowers, and garlic scapes. They were a little lost amid the other plentiful vegetables. But no more back seat for the peas. They are really starting to come in and I'll be picking them every couple of days.
I'm growing three kinds. I love how Mammoth melting grows, but it really isn't the best tasting snowpea I've ever had. Maybe I'll find another pole type that is better someday. Since I had two snap peas this year that grew, I could do a taste test with them. Cascadia wins hands down. It is much sweeter than Super Sugar Snap and SSS has a tinge of bitterness. I can see it would go well in a stirfry, but Cascadia would be best in a salad. So what did I do? I just tossed them all into one container in the fridge. Now I can't tell them apart at all. Oh and Super Sugar Snap seems much more prolific than Cascadia so far. It would be the less tasty one that grows so well.
I'm saving one of my varieties of peas, SSS, for the Seed to Seed Challenge. I chose two really nice plants on the end that are farthest away from the other peas and will not pick any peas off of them. It is really more of a trial than anything. I want to see how many peas can be saved from a plant before it gives up the ghost. I know once it sets, it will stop setting more peas. I'm also learning how to mark the peas to be saved. Right now I have a little bit of orange twine marking the blossoms. It is hard to notice however despite the orange color. When I pick peas I zoom in on one and don't even notice the twine. I need something better to mark it.
The big question with saving peas that are right next to one another is if they will cross or not. Peas are self pollinating and are usually pollinated before the pea flower even opens. But sometimes you can get crosses depending upon the insects in your area. I think I will be able to see if the peas have crossed or not by just seeing what the peas look like. The closest pea to this one is Mammoth Melting. The peas that grow from this are not wrinkled (sweet) peas. If my peas end up smooth than I will know some crossed (and which peas won't come true and I can just pick them out) and might have even crossed with the other snap peas (these I won't be able to tell the difference, sugar snaps all have wrinkled seed). If I see no smooth peas, then I think I'm set for the following years to save peas from any ones I want.
This is prime pea season. Last year I picked my first peas on June 16th. This year was only a couple of days earlier. If all goes well I will be picking peas for a long time to come. Last year I pulled up the last of the spring peas at the beginning of August. Will this year's last as long?
On a more down note, my potatoes have late blight already. I've never had late blight in my garden before. I'm very very worried that it will transmit over to the tomatoes. Right now I have any sign of infection picked off. I don't want the spores to get into the air. I hope this isn't the end of the saga of the potatoes but it might be. Should I pull them all up and protect my other plants? I'm guessing they need until August 1st to mature. This is a long time. We have had a lot of damp cool weather. This coming week it is predicted to rain all week long. Late blight thrives in these conditions. Is it better safe than sorry? Has anyone had late blight before and gotten a crop, especially this early in the game? If it were the middle of July I'd just wait and see how the potatoes turned out but I'm just not sure. This morning I sprayed them with asprin and compost tea. The next non rainy day I'll spray them with Seranade.