Monday, 19 March 2012

Holy Mackerel, We Have Planted Peas


No, really. We planted peas. Hard to believe - last year at this time it was going to be another 2 weeks before we could fight our way through the snow to check the hoop-houses. But it is warm (17°C today and it was even warmer on Saturday) and it is dry (somewhat alarmingly so) for mid-March.


Getting the trellis up took us 2 days (2 part days, really). Frames, bracing, strings to cut and tie - it's a long somewhat fiddly job before you even get to the actual planting. Look at that side-brace: warped much?


Strings were tied on to the top braces before being screwed in place - much easier that way.


Then the bottom braces are screwed in place, and the strings tied around them. This is to prevent the all-to-common effect we've had the last few years, of the well-grown peas catching the wind and billowing and creaking like a tea-clipper in full sail.


And finally, the planted peas. Two double rows on each side of the string-covered braces. There's Mrs. Van's, Spanish Skyscraper and Tall Telephone down the middle, with Dual, Harrison's Glory and Tom Thumb on either side. You can't see them; they're not up yet. Can't think what's taking them so long.

Okay, gotta go - off to plant some more peas.

13 comments:

Louisa said...

That's a great way of doing it! I may have to steal your method :)

I don't trust this weather, though. 70 degrees in mid march in upstate NY? No way. There's going to be a blizzard. Winter cannot be over!

Ferdzy said...

Yeah, I KNOW. Still, we looked at the 14 day forecast and at the "worst" it gets down to higher than average temps for this time of year... I'm actually more afraid that if we DON'T get them planted, it's going to be too hot for them.

O.o

Phiddy said...

Was wondering how you pick the peas down the centre of those rows? I find it near impossible to get them all.
And, please.... what zone are you. I think I am north of you. Just wondering if we too should brave the weather and plant now also?????

Ferdzy said...

Oh, I should have explained how that works. In the middle, we plant tall peas - the Mrs Vans, Spanish Skyscraper and Tall Telephone. These will grow to 6 to 8 feet tall, and there won't be a lot of peas below the 3 foot mark. The shorter peas - the Dual, Harrisons Glory, and Tom Thumb - get planted on either side. Tom Thumb gets about 2 feet tall, Dual gets about 3 feet tall, and Harrisons Glory is a bit of a nuisance at about 5 feet tall. Overall this means we aren't grubbing for peas in the middle, at the bottom, through all the plants in front of them.

I'd say we're in zone 5B but I honestly sometimes think it's as high as 6A. However, I would suggest you think about planting pas soon. They can stand some frost, what they hate is heat. Unless your forcast for the next 2 weeks shows signs of snow, go ahead and plant. Even if it does snow a little they will probably be fine.

bluelacedredhead said...

Great trellis system. You have far more patience to do that than I ever could muster.

Spanish Skyscraper is such a wonderful pea and developed in E. Ontario by Ken Allan. I found some old seed in my collection yesterday. I must do a germination rate before I lose the variety.

CallieK said...

I've been hesitating to sow anything quite yet but it was 20 degrees yesterday and more of the same to come all week! At work everything in the green house has bolted -actually I'm surprised they have't fried entirely- we hit 40 in there one day last week and now have all the roof vents open

Ferdzy said...

Bluelacedredhead; thanks. It isn't me who has the patience though! Actually, while it's a lot of work up front it makes things so much easier later on. Also, some of those peas just get huge and I can't imagine what they would be like without good support. I would say the Spanish Skyscraper are maybe the best pea I have ever tasted, but we've only grown them once and got very little before the heat got bad enough that they went starchy instantly on maturity. That's the trouble with really late peas. owever, I have a huge amount of seed. It was grown in the same trellis system so cross-pollination is a distinct possibility, and I am about to be away for 2 weeks so I would have trouble getting it to you in a timely manner. Still, if you think you would like some just mention it and we'll work out how to get you some.

CallieK, it seems so shocking, doesn't it. I'm afraid this is going to be a long, hot, dry summer. I hope I'm at least a little bit wrong about that, but the next two weeks are forecast to be positively tropical, and by then we're into April. I can see us getting a dump of snow yet, but I can't see it lasting.

Marnie said...

That's a work of art. Let's say the brace is artistically shaped, not warped. Oh, and I think you mean 17C in the first paragraph. Best of luck with the garden this year!

bluelacedredhead said...

Thanks for the offer, Ferdzy. I'm going to do the germination test today and see what I get, before I decide if I need some seed, TY. :)

Ferdzy said...

Thanks, Marnie. Fixed. I guess I just can't help but think 17°F is what it SHOULD be!

No probs, Bluelaced.

spencer said...

I'm still hesitant to plant, but was debating kale and some lettuces this weekend.....

thats something i didn't think about about what happens if you wait too long....

bluelacedredhead said...

Ferdzy,
I'm pleased to report that my Spanish Skyscraper seeds are very viable. 8 out of 9 seed planted on the 21st have germinated by the 24th
Now you can go on your winter vacation without worrying about sending me seeds. Thanks again for the offer. I do appreciate the thought. :)

Crafty Gardener said...

I planted some peas suring that warm spell in March and they are all up and showing true leaves. Can't wait to taste them. A week or so ago I planted some carrots and today some onions. It's nice to meet another Ontario blogger.