Pea Planting Day

Spring has officially arrived!  The frogs are croaking, bulbs are blooming, and the damn woodpecker has returned to his springtime trickery of startling my family awake with his machine gun style mating call on the side of our house.  I know he is just looking for a little lovin’, but must he peck his brains out at 6am on my bedroom wall?  Sheesh!   Anyway, I digress.  The forsythia are also in full bloom, which, according to phenology, is mother nature’s way of telling me, the peas can now be planted.   Finally!

The vegetable garden has already been cleaned up, so sowing the seeds will be quick and simple today.  I pre-soaked the seeds overnight, as I explained earlier in this DIY Quick Tip, and they are now hydrated and ready for planting.

In addition to the peas, I will also be planting my favorite lettuce from Territorial Seed Company, the ‘Super Gourmet Salad Blend’, ‘French Baby’ Carrots, ‘Red Acre’ Cabbage, and ‘Early Bunch’ Onions.  As well as samples I received from my Gardening Gals, an Heirloom Lettuce ‘Merveille de Quatre Saisons’, ‘White Lady’ Turnips, and a French Spinach ‘Fire Red Orach’.

Peas are a family favorite, so I tend to plant a lot of them.  Two batches are being planted in self-watering containers on my deck, called Earthboxes.  The boxes also came with trellis’, which need restringing (add it to the list), for the peas to climb up.  In addition, I am planting a patch of peas in the garden and a few in 4″ containers, just in case my crop is ravaged by weather or pests.  The sweet peas are also being started in 4″ containers because I have yet to decide where I am planting them this year.

To plant the peas, dig a shallow trench and space the peas 1″ apart.  Peas are one of the few vegetable crops that don’t mind being a little crowded, so plant away.   The peas in the garden do not have a trellis yet, I am making a bamboo one later in the week.  So, for now, I will stake out the square so I remember where to set up the trellis.

Instead of planting my lettuce and spinach in neat little rows, I like to do a 4 x 4 square, intensive planting.   I rake out a square patch in my amended soil, sprinkle the seeds all over the inside of the square, and then cover with the recommend amount of soil.  This allows me to grow a lot more lettuce in a small space and there are less weeds to pull.

When everything has been planted, I write the seed variety on plant markers, and label each section.  If a friend has given me a particular seed, I like to honor their contribution to my veggie patch by writing their name on it.  If needed, I will also know who to go to with questions about that particular plant.  Not all gardeners label their crops, but it really helps this old lady’s brain remember what I have planted.  It also makes it easier for my kids, and guests, to find a specific vegetable when I send them out to the garden for dinner ingredients.

The planting is done for the day, and I cannot wait to see what pops up first in my little garden.  What seed varieties are you trying out this year?  Anything new?  Have a favorite?  Always love to hear from you.  Happy Spring planting!

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