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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Peas Please!

It's another gorgeous day out there today! Spring has come a whole month early this year and things are starting to grow like crazy - even the maples trees are in full bloom! My early garden sowings of arugula and Black Seeded Simpson lettuce are doing very well and I have since planted a handful of other veggies including, 3 types of radishes, mache, mesclun and baby spinach.

Now it's time to get the peas in the ground! I was waiting to see if the weather could turn cold again, but apparently, spring is here to stay.. so it's time to get planting!

Who doesn't love just-picked garden peas? They taste like spring - although I'm also partial to spring asparagus, but that's a story for another time - and of course it's always fun to compete with the kids to see who can find the biggest pod (generally not me!).

There are 3 main types of peas - shell, snap and sugar. Our favourite type is Super Sugar Snap - a vigorous variety that can grow over 6-feet tall and bears a heavy crop of large edible pods filled with sweet peas! It's early, quick growing and disease resistant, and most importantly in my (humble) opinion, it's one of the best tasting peas in cultivation!

To grow peas, all you need is a sunny spot with rich organic soil. To beef up your soil before planting, add a thick layer of compost or aged manure. Plant your peas about an inch deep and an inch apart. Add netting if they're a climbing type. Depending on the variety, you can be enjoying succulent peas in just 50 days! Super Sugar Snaps take about 64 days, but are worth the 2 month wait!

Happy Gardening!




8 comments:

  1. I am looking forward to growing sugar snaps this summer...still waiting for spring to show up here though.

    Christine in Alaska

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  2. I keep wondering when I should put peas out. I'm in Zone 4a, north of you in Gaspe Quebec. Perhaps in another week or so it should be OK to start some bush peas. But I'll save the climbers for May. I have a variety called Ne Plus Ultra, an old Victorian pea. It's very sweet, even in the larger stage.
    I dig a trench and line it with compost and kitchen waste that isn't very decomposed. That's what the climbers grow in. The trench helps retain moisture and gives them a bit of a feed at the same time.

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  3. Hey Christine - I hope spring comes soon for you.. it seems like it's been a long winter! :)

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  4. Hi Kara,

    I think I would wait another week to plant your peas - at least until your soil has dried out.. but, if you did plant them, you could cover them with floating row cover! That will help insulate them from an unexpected temp drop..

    Thanks for the tip about the trench and Ne Plus Ultra.. I haven't tried it, but it sounds delicious!

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  5. Lettuce and sweet pea don't seem to like my way of gardening. Lettuce never get seeded. Sweet pea wilted and died a foot high. May pick up a few tips going through your blog. Cheers ... ~bangchik

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  6. Hi Bangchik - I love your blog.. great info and photos! Too bad about your sweet peas, they can be a bit fussy! I hope you have better luck this year!
    Niki

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  7. I could have a spring this early every year. I have already started my peas for planting, they are about an inch tall now. Can't wait!

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  8. I'm an obsessive gardener too! Though mostly I say it's my purple-passion!
    I have Oregon Giant snow peas in the ground. My husband's request. It will be our 1st time for this kind of pea. For me, I'm growing Green Arrow for pea shoots. I'm starting to see the snow peas sprouting (planted them 1st). Eager to see them climbing the trellis!

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Please feel free to leave comments. I welcome your tips, questions, thoughts and ideas (and suggestions for new veggies to grow!)