Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Pease Are In

Pease - that's an old-fashioned spelling for peas. As in "Pease porridge hot, Pease porridge cold..."

Anywho, it was a mild enough afternoon and evening yesterday that after work I decided to plant the peas. This time I mixed up a batch of innoculant in which I soaked the peas before planting them. This stuff is a mix of beneficial bacteria that you can add to your legume seeds (peas, beans, peanuts) to give them an extra boost. I bought some last year but never used it so this year I thought I'd give it a try. It turned out to be a black sludge-like slurry once I mixed it with water. Some of the sludge clung to the peas, so we'll see if it makes any difference.

And this year I put in all my pea seeds - going back to seeds from two or three years ago! I wanted no leftovers after this year. As with many of my seeds, my peas are mostly heirloom varieties, although some are not: Alderman Pole Peas, British Wonder, Blue Podded Shelling Peas, Green Arrow, Mayfair, Miragreen, Laxton's Progress #9. I had set aside three beds for peas this year, but I ended up using four. If all of them grow, I will be well-endowed with peas this summer.

Peas do well when co-planted with onions/chives. You can also plant your greens with your peas - they are both cool-weather crops. Dill, sweet annie, cosmos, nasturtiums, and calendulas are all good companion plants for peas - they bring in the pollinators. The latter, however, need to be planted after the last threat of frost, but they are fast-growers and soon catch up.

It's good to finally get some seeds in the ground - something to keep the garlic company!

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