Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer 2012 - Making peace with sweet peas

Peas and green bean seeds are planted in my garden every year no matter what. Nothing like shelling fresh green peas. I have never seen fresh peas in their pods in any grocery store, maybe occasionally in a farmer's market but that is it.

Peas are cool weather plants and by the first day of summer most of the harvest is done. In our part of the world the seeds can go in as early as March since sweet peas I hear can tolerate mild frosts. I usually get to it in the ground or in pots by early April. The peas are mature by the official first day of summer.

Though I religiously sow peas every year some years all I have seen are the leaves and some years a few beautiful flowers. This year was an exception even with a scorcher of a Spring. I got about a cup and a half of shelled peas which is a lot for my garden and very unusual.

One year we had a mystery visitor gnawing the leaves and buds and we ended up with no pea pods that year. Some years the seeds were sowed a little later in the season and the summer was upon us before the peas could mature. Peas cannot tolerate extreme heat and humidity.

I followed advice of a garden columnist and planted tomato and okra seeds beneath the peas plants. By the time those seeds were sprouting the pea harvest was done and the container could be used productively without a gap.

After a frustrating few years this spring all the planets seemed to have been aligned so I got to enjoy some fresh garden peas. I had 6 plants to be exact. I am going to sow a few more in Fall when the climate is suitable again.

Besides the weather which is important, loose soil with organic matter is what is required for healthy growth. Besides that the plant does not require any special care.

Go ahead and give them a try.

1 comment:

  1. Yay for your fresh peas harvest! I grow mostly herbs in the garden but I would love to grow tomatoes in pots. If I would only remember when it is time to sow - here in Delhi, winter is the main gardening season!


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