Friday, March 27, 2009

Peas Planted

I got a lot done in the garden yesterday. The first order of business was to mark out where everything went in the peas and greens bed. I had made a very rough map on a piece of scrap paper. I know real gardeners are supposed to use something nicer to display their ideas with some beauty. They use programs and graph paper. They lovingly ponder where their peas and lettuce will go and write it down. I might point out that last year I didn't even use scrap paper. My normal mode of operation is to just wing the plan. At least I wrote it down this year.

After I finished writing it down, I noticed there was no room for my Chinese cabbage. This is the smallest of my beds and I'm going to have to cram things in even without my cabbage. So I'm going to dig a little new area. I usually don't use this area. Things don't grow well under the crab apple tree. Think shade, roots and a lot of allelopathic nastiness. But it is there or nowhere.

After the sketch was made. I went out to mark it out in the dirt. I found that when I put in my tree edging to this bed I didn't make the bed 48" wide like it is supposed to be. It was closer to 43" The carpenter's rule is measure twice and cut once. When I laid out the tree I didn't measure at all. Measuring zero times and cutting once is not the best solution. Of course it is an easy fix. I just had to drag it out four to five inches, cut a few inches off the trunk, and level off the bed again.

The back of the bed was to be all peas. I'm still not sure about one spot yet. I'm thinking still. That part I couldn't plant in peas yesterday anyway. It was still frozen. The rest of the bed was covered in plastic for a couple of weeks so the soil was nice and warm. The frozen part was not covered and is partially shaded by the fence so it takes longer for that section to be ready. I'll get to it later.

For now I planted peas along the back in the unfrozen sections. I planted two rows six inches apart, one on each side of the trellis. I've found if I plant more rows than that I can never find the peas to pick in the tangle of foliage.

I have three varieties each occupying one section of the trellis. Cascadia is a shorter snap pea so may not need the whole trellis, but you never know. Last year I had a pea that was labeled to only get to 2' tall and it got to 6'. Never trust the seed packages. The next along the line is Mammoth Melting, which is a snow pea. It did very well least year. I liked it, but it isn't a very sweet pea. The third is Super Sugar Snap a tall snap pea. Last year none of my snap peas did well. I don't know why. Their stems were rotting at the bottom. It reminded me a little of damping off but it was on large stems and not seedling stems. The snow peas were not effected at all. I'm hoping with two varieties I'll get something this year. I love my snap peas.

You will notice that I have no shelling peas, though Cascadia can double as a shelling pea. I find shelling my peas just too much work and to be frank I've never really liked them. They taste fine, but there is something about a pea that bothers me. I think it is bad associations with being forced to eat them as a kid. Snap peas however I love. So I'm hoping for lots of them. I'll finish up the rest of yesterday's fun in the next post.


  1. Ha!!! I'm right with you, Daphne! I love snap peas, I enjoy snow peas, but I've never warmed to "English" (aka garden) peas. It's the texture. I'm super texture-sensitive, and there's something about the slimy-yet-mealy quality that kills me. Once peas become split peas and can be used in dal, however, I feel better about them. But I'm not going to grow them!

  2. I have nothing against the taste or texture of shelling peas, they just take up too much room in the garden. You have to grow so many plants to get a few cups of shelled peas. And then there is that shelling part, basically I'm kinda lazy. So, I have only snap and snow peas too! The ones I started in paper pots seem to be quite happy.

  3. Our Friend Ben, I'm glad I'm not the only one and I think you might be right about the texture. I think that is the reason I hate lima beans too. Yum dal, if only I could get my husband to like Indian food.

    Michelle, I have that lazy streak in me too. I'm a little worried about all the dried beans I'm going to plant, but I love them so much I'm doing it anyway.