Archive for the 'Peas' Category

Late Winter Garden

Some of my fruit trees are already blooming in late February, including my nectarine, almond, and mutli-grafted pluot, which is shown below.

The Dabble Dandy pluot graft is full of blossoms after having set no fruit last year (lower right in picture). The blossoms of Dabble Dandy and Flavor Supreme pluots are overlapping with the later blooming Flavor Queen and Flavor King pluot grafts (upper left and right, respectively), which need to be cross-pollinated by Supreme and Dandy. Last year, the King/Queen bloom times did not overlap for very long with Dandy/Supreme, and none of the 4 varieties set as many fruits as previous years. Luckily, the weather for the most part has been sunny and dry, which should be great for pollination.

This year, I set out sugar snap pea seeds in the ground early on Feb. 2 (Cascadia, Sugar Ann, Sugar Lace, and Super Sugar Snap varieties). I planted left over seeds from last year. Most of the seeds have sprouted. I have the bed covered with mosquito netting that is supported by sticks to keep the seedlings from being eaten. A part of this bed (with the netting off) is shown below.

I planted these same 4 varieties last year. The Sugar Anns were the first to produce peas, in late April. Cascasdia produced the most peas, throughout May until mid-June. They were also the most tasty and my favorite overall. The other two varieties also produced well (mid-May to mid-June). Below is a picture of the 3 dwarf varieties (Sugar Ann, Cascadia, Sugar Lace) last Apr. 27.

For a few weeks in May, they produced so many peas that I ended up giving a lot away. The quality of our peas has been very high season after season for the past few years that I have been growing them. I would rank sugar snap peas near the top of my list of produce that is most worth growing at home. The pea pods are very crisp and flavorful, especially when compared to the taste and freshness of store bought sugar snap peas that I have purchased. And I can’t say that about all home grown produce. My home grown potatoes, for example, have not tasted different than store bought potatoes, although they were fun to grow and pesticide free.

February 27 2018 | Peas and Pluots | No Comments »

Cool Season Crops

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On March 1st of this year, I planted sugar snap pea seeds in one of our raised beds next to a wire trellis. All of the seeds sprouted within a week or two and grew rapidly after that. The pea vines are now over 6 feet tall (taller than the trellis) and are still growing. There are so many vines (I planted too many seeds) that wind blew them forward off the trellis a few weeks ago. I tied them back onto the trellis with string. I planted three rows of seeds at about a 3 inch spacing. Next time, I will plant only two rows of seeds spaced farther apart.

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I am growing peas on the same trellis as blue lake green beans, which I have been growing for years. When I have planted green beans along the entire 6 foot long trellis in the past, the plants produced way too many beans to eat. So this year I planted half as many beans and planted peas next to the beans. The peas are out growing the beans and starting to crowd them.

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Our peas are now full of pods. I just began picking them last week. This is the first time I have grown peas, and I am wondering why I didn’t before. They are easy to grow, produce lots of sweet edible pea pods early in the growing season, and are good sources of vitamins A and K and especially vitamin C.

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Our broccoli plants are large this year. I grew them by seed rather than buying nursery transplants, as I mentioned in a previous post. I have watered them regularly and applied water soluble fertilizer to them about once a week, which seems to have made a difference. Although right now, the plants are growing together and crowding each other out, which is probably limiting the size of the plants and the crowns. Next time, I may space them farther apart. 12 inches apart is not quite enough for maximum growth. Planting of broccoli seeds at just the right time is critical to getting large crowns. I think I got the timing right. Although, we’ve had two heat waves this month into the low 90s F, which is not ideal for broccoli growth. Our broccoli plants are forming crowns now. I just harvested the first crown today. These crowns in the lower photo look nearly ready to cut.

I also covered our broccoli plants with two layers of bird netting which helped to keep the snails away (they get stuck in it) and these white moths that want to lay larvae (worms) on the broccoli. The moths also can’t get through the netting.

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I have had mixed results with potatoes this year. I planted russet and yukon gold potatoes in Feb. and March. I have been planting potatoes in the same raised bed for years. Those potato plants (above photo) have not grown nearly as much as the potato plants that are growing in a different raised bed (below photo with corn in the back) where I had never planted potatoes until this year. It seems to be an example of the importance of rotating crops from year to year.

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I sowed the corn seeds in mid-March, which is the earliest I have ever planted it. I sowed Peaches and Cream corn seeds, which is my favorite variety for taste. The seeds sprouted and grew about as quickly as in past years when I had always sowed the seeds in April. I am expecting to harvest corn by July 1, and then rip out these plants for a second planting of corn seeds to be harvested in late October. Home grown corn is so good, one harvest a year just isn’t enough!

May 21 2014 | Broccoli and Corn and Peas and Potatoes | 1 Comment »