Peas In Particular

pea seedlings in trench


I really put a lot into the carton, too many it seems, however, they all rooted just fine.

It’s a beautiful sunny day, April 8. The peas started in vermiculite are now in the ground, germinated and well-rooted.

I will never again plant peas into cold soil and wait, and wait and wait for them to emerge. Usually one third rot in the cold wet ground, another third get eaten by slugs, and we wax eloquent over the few remaining peas that we thoroughly enjoy in summer.

My pea shoots in just 10 days. I had no idea they put down such a deep tap root.

Following the suggestion by Linda Gilkeson, mentioned in my last blog about planting seeds, I germinated the peas in vermiculite, starting on March 28. I moved the milk cartons outside a few days ago just to harden them off a little bit, and today simply pulled each little stem out; the vermiculite doesn’t grab onto the delicate root hairs so there was no resistance and no damage to the roots.

The picture below shows the amazing root system formed in only 10 days, in my warm laundry room.

I then simply dug a shallow trench at the base of my bamboo trellis in one of the raised beds, lay the seedlings in the trench, covered them with soil and watered them in, leaving only about half an inch of green shoot showing above ground.

I planted them so the green shoots were just above the soil surface.

Since we actually had frost last night, I did put a little plastic shelter over them, as well as I could, given that they are planted at the base of the trellis. I also put some netting on the other side to keep the birds and squirrels away. Not a lot of effort, and a whole lot better germination than ever before; they are off to a very good start in life.

Peas have been in my garden for years, they are a mainstay, except for last year when the first crop rotted and the second crop was eaten by critters (birds? squirrels?).  But there have never ever been enough; maybe this is the year.

Is there any crop more delectable than fresh peas eaten outside while standing in the garden? If so, I’m not sure I’ve tried it.  Looks like it will be a good year for my peas, and perhaps for the first time, I’ll even have enough to cook a few.