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Posts Tagged ‘Peas’

IMG_9753 Our sugar snap peas got super tall this year — Matt is about 6 feet tall for comparison. Granted, they are planted in raised beds that are about a foot off the ground. But still, these suckers got big! We just harvested close to a hundred of these and the snow peas. Going to be a delicious side for dinner tonight!

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Our trellis rig for the peas (snow peas here).

Our trellis rig for the peas (snow peas here).

One benefit to square foot gardening is everything is on a grid. That’s also part of its problem (for us anyway). When planting the peas earlier this year, I plopped the seeds — eight per square — in the soil and let nature take its course. It wasn’t until a week or so later that I realized my planting method was flawed.

I didn’t pay attention to where I put the seeds and thus created the “great trellis challenge” of 2015. A couple of weeks ago, the peas were growing happily, with tendrils looking for something to climb. We had to figure it out. I’ll credit my brilliant husband, Matt, for coming up with this.

We did our best to untangle the plants from each other and put two stakes in between the “rows” of peas. Then we took this bendable wire fencing we’ve had for years, folded it and slid the rig over the stakes. It’s got big enough squares to weave the peas in and out where needed, but not so big that the peas need to climb huge gaps. Also, peas are easy to train but require a bit of care because they’re rather fragile.

The wire & stake trellis for the peas (snow peas here).

The wire & stake trellis for the peas (snow peas here).

And when we needed to add another row because the peas grew even taller? We just added one more piece to the top. Admittedly, it’s quite a haphazard set up, but it was cheap and it works!

When the peas are done and the beans have started to grow, we’ll just move it where we need it. Though this time I’ll be more aware of where I’m planting the seeds.

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We’re now in mid-April and all our early spring crops are looking good! I’m kind of amazed at how much we have planted so far.

There are peas (sugar snap and snow), spinach, radishes, carrots, lettuce, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and onions all doing really well, along with the garlic planted in the fall and chives that come back every year. Most of those are repeats from previous years, except the onions.

We decided to grow onions on a whim this year, even though they’re cheap to buy at the grocery store. After successfully growing garlic last season and learning how much better the homegrown variety was, we suspect onions will be the same. I found a bag of onion sets (they look like tiny, slender onions) that had red, yellow and white onions so we’re trying each variety. There are also a few squares we’ll use for onion seeds to have another later harvest (and for green onions).

We have tons of broccoli this year because the cell packs I bought had nine plants each instead of six, and I decided to try two different varieties. Some are planted in the garden beds and others in containers; same idea with the Brussels sprouts, which we can move around to find the ideal conditions/area for them to grow.

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Our garlic, left, growing strong in front of the peas, and our newly planted broccoli, with garlic behind it.

Our garlic, left, growing strong in front of the peas, and our newly planted broccoli, with garlic behind it.

It was much later than we planned, but we finally have our spring plants in the ground. The weather was so radical in its swings – warm, sunny days followed by freezing temperatures, a bit of snow and days of heavy rain – I was afraid if we planted any earlier nothing would survive.

So right now we have broccoli, spinach, lettuce, radishes and snow/sugar snap peas in the ground.

All seem to be doing well, even though it’s only been about week. And now that we’re “veteran broccoli growers,” we know what to keep an eye on as far as leaf/bug issues.

The squirrels have been digging a bit, probably trying to find the last of the acorn stash, and even turned up a few pea seeds. But, the good news is they were sprouting, so we’ll at least have a few plants! We’ll have to find some method to keep them out until everything germinates and is coming up, maybe some netting will help.

We also have some kale seeds started in small cell packs to transplant when they get bigger. The garlic is also looking great, and we can’t wait until we’re able to harvest it.

 

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The weather is getting warmer and that means the end of our peas. They didn’t do as well as we’d hoped because it was too cold early in the season, too warm as they blossomed, and the deer were eating the shoots once they started growing.

We probably got a good bowl of pods and could’ve had more if we didn’t keep eating them right off the vine. I pulled the peas this past weekend to make space for planting our green beans. Even though there were still a handful of blossoms and tiny pea pods, it was time for them to go into the compost bin. But not all was lost.

I was able to harvest quite a bit of pea shoots for a quick and delicious side. There are tons of recipes out there, but here’s what I did.

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Good greens.

Good greens.

It was really fun last week to make a salad completely comprised of what we’ve grown – lettuce, broccoli, peas and basil.

Most of the lettuce is thinned seedlings, the broccoli is from the side shoots and the peas are our first (and probably only) crop of snow peas.

Everything was incredibly delicious, and it made us very excited for this season!

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Sugar snap peas coming along nicely.

Sugar snap peas coming along nicely.

Our peas are coming along nicely, but I’m not sure if we will get anything. The weather was a bit too unpredictable this spring, so they were planted late.

Some rotted in the ground or otherwise didn’t sprout. They’ve started putting out tendrils so we needed to give them support.

Instead of a trellis we used a wire fence that was in the garage. It’s not very tall but it works. I’m still afraid the weather will get too warm before we get any peas. Keeping my fingers crossed that at least a few pods form.

If they don’t, at least we found out last year that pea shoots are pretty tasty.

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