Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Goodbye Peas, Hello Beans

Peas are interesting. Their harvests come in waves. Some years I get three waves of peas before they need to be pulled out. Each wave of peas is half the size of the previous one. The peas are smaller each time. And sometimes they are deformed or diseased. But mostly the extra waves past the first are worth it. Sadly this year with the late spring, I only had time to let one wave produce. They need to be out by the 15th or the fall brassicas won't have enough time. If any had been in bloom I would have let them stay, but here were no flowers and no buds. It would probably take another week or so to get that second wave starting, which would be too late. Plus we had 90F degree temperatures foretasted for the week. Peas do not like hot temperatures. So it was time to rip them out.

Considering the single wave of snap peas, the weight of the harvest wasn't too bad. Last year I harvested 12 pounds. This year just under 11 pounds. Not too bad. Of course it is the worst pea harvest I've ever had. The best was the year without winter (2012). I harvested 20 pounds that year. The year before was almost 19 pounds. This year I'm not saving any pea seed as I want to see if new seed will help with the production. But I'm not really complaining much this year as I had plenty to share with my townhouse mates and gave a lot to another friend. I still have a pound or two in my fridge. They keep pretty well, so I'll dole them out over the next couple of weeks to add a little variety and sweetness to my meals.

Once the peas were gone the half closest to the fence was planted in Kentucky Wonder pole beans. They will be my fall beans. The closer half still needs the carrots in that bed to be pulled before I can plant the fall brassicas. Those I want to give more time to. Some are still sizing up. But it won't be long. I need them out by the end of the week, or when the storage carrots start to germinate (I'll move over the row cover), whichever comes first.


  1. 11 lbs. of peas is a lot - I can't even imagine 20. I'm planning on planting my some fall brassicas in the onion beds once they are pulled - I have no idea when that will be but they are starting to bulb up now. Seeing others planting fall crops already, I'm hoping that my plants will have time to produce.

  2. Has anyone ever had an issue with saved seed not producing as well as store-bought seed? I saved seed from my Amish paste tomatoes last year and the plants seem kind of anemic this year. Could be the location, which seems to be loaded with some sort of blight problem, but I recall last year's plants being a lot more robust. This year they're tall and thin, but still setting fruit. Perhaps I saved the seed incorrectly?

    1. It can be a problem (though isn't usually). Seeds do best if you save them from the best plants. If you always save them from the plants you don't want to eat from, it will be a problem fast. If you have a seed born disease, you could be perpetuating the problem. Tomato seeds are usually fermented when saved to reduce the problem. Of course with tomatoes if you grow them in the same spot year after year, your plants can get weaker that way too.