Posts Tagged ‘peas’
I’ve tried all kinds of ways to provide support for climbers, like sugar snap peas and green beans. Most of them have their drawbacks. Last year I created a framework of long bamboo poles. That worked pretty well except that even though I made it very tall (about 6 1/2 feet) the peas grew even taller. It became a balancing act trying to keep the whole thing from toppling over. I had re-bar stakes to support it but it just wasn’t enough. Besides, until the peas got tall enough to hide some of the bamboo, it seemed a bit of an eyesore.
This year I decided to try and make something a little more permanent. I got some of those heavy metal fence post that have little nubs on them. I had to get up on a tall ladder to pound them into the ground deep enough (about 18″-24″). The little nubs all along the length of the posts let me decide where I would tie the twine. I strung heavy twine horizontally in several places, both high and low. Then I strung string vertically between them. I left a tail on the string at the bottom for the peas to attach to and begin their climb. I almost strung wire for the horizontal support but thought I’d try the twine for this year. It seems like it would be easier to clear out at the end of the season instead of pulling all the dead vines off the wire. I guess I’ll soon see if the twine is going to be enough support for the heavy vines.
Last year I thought I’d built an adequate support for the Green Peas and the Sugar Snap Peas. After all, it was about 4′ high.
I was so wrong. I just put bamboo in the corners of the raised beds and then strung jute for the peas to climb on. The whole thing collapsed from the weight of the vines and peas. I spent all season trying to prop it back up and not very successfully. Picking the peas was made difficult because we had to hold up the heavy vines to get to the pods. I’m sure we missed a lot of peas last year.
This year I decided to get more creative. I built a scaffolding out of the bamboo poles (we have lots of bamboo, bought in bundles at a thrift store) and then strung twine back and forth. I made it about 6′ tall. I got a lot of comments about how tall it was and was convinced that I had gone overboard a little.
Not so. This week the vines reached the top rung, at least the Sugar Snap Peas have and the English Peas aren’t far behind. I am so glad now that I made it so tall. The vines are loaded with pods already and lots of blooms still coming. Looks like a good year for peas.
Yes, the peas (English peas and Sugar Snap peas) are blooming and the lettuce is growing so fast that we can’t eat it nor give it away fast enough. The rest of the garden is growing so fast too.
This is such a different year than last year, when the winter wouldn’t end and everything got such a slow start.
Absolutely loving this spring weather.
Yes, it’s still very much winter here in zone 6, but even here, English peas go in the ground pretty early. We grow ours in raised beds so maybe we can get them in a little earlier because the soil (planting mixture) heats up a little faster. But they do like it chilly and usually, as soon as the soil can be worked, you can get them in the ground.
If you do plant them a little too early, they’ll wait until the right time, and then they’ll pop up and start growing. It’s easy to forget to plant them and before you know it…it’s too late. They like it cool and will bear until it gets too warm.
English peas are great fresh from the garden, raw or cooked.
Have you tried Sugar Snap peas? They look and taste like English peas (maybe a little sweeter), except the shell can be eaten as well. The shell is plump, like a green bean. They are also great raw or cooked (best if not over cooked). They freeze really well too. Just steam them briefly, then seal them in zip bags and toss in the freezer. The seeds are available near the packets of English pea seeds.
As you plan your garden…don’t forget to plant the peas.