Monday, June 16, 2008

Michael and I have been talking already about our next year's crop of peas. We want to grow more of them -- a lot more. Forget about "A few pods here, a token handful there." Sure, it's been nice to have small amounts of peas to taste and to feel the accomplishment of having grown our own, but now we want to scale it up.

I plan to devote one half to two-thirds of a garden bed just for peas next spring. They're good for the soil, we like to eat them, and they'll be out of the ground just in time for me to put in the summer and winter squash seeds.

This year's crop of peas (well, it's a stretch to call it a "crop" -- that's the extent of them in the photo above) was not so good. I left the pods on the plant too long. Worse, they suffered through the recent late spring heat wave. Code Red Days = No Pea Days. The peas got too big and starchy and we all but choked them down just to say we ate our own homegrown peas. Pitiful they were. Not even butter could save them.

Note to self: Never leave peas on the plant in that kind of heat. Never.

Better luck next year.


Blogger Daphne Gould said...

The weather had really been cruel to peas this year. I haven't grown any English peas, but my snowpeas at least have recovered from our heatwave and have started producing.

7:51 PM  
Blogger Nancy J. Bond said...

Enjoy the peas -- you do need to plant quite a lot of them for much of a return. But there's nothing any sweeter. :)

8:03 PM  
Blogger Gina said...

ive never grown peas before but I'm definately going to try them next year. I can't wait!

8:09 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I've found sugarsnaps to be more productive for me in the garden than "English" peas. You might try some of them next year too. Sorry your crop was small--I hope that next year you get the crop you dream of!

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good decision on the peas. They are far better when you can plant more.
Whats the next crop coming up?

1:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had the same thing happen to us last year which was our first year growing peas... just a handful!
I also harvested mine too late last year.

This year we planted quite a bit more and I now know not to let them sit so long! Live and learn :)

8:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My problem is i snack on them after work when i go outside! Saves me going out to buy crisps or chocolate... They are mange-tout, and we are getting about a large handful a day from a pyramid in a metre row

11:26 AM  
Blogger Ed Bruske said...

Christa, my pea plants never got as far as the last heat wave. We'd already eaten them. I'm resolved to plant them even earlier, and--like you--in much greater quantity. It really does pay to monitor them closely as they ripen and pick the pods as soon as they reach that stage, even if it means picking a few daily. They keep very well in the fridge.

People think that legumes automatically are good for the soil. That's because legumes have a special relationship with certain kinds of bacteria that leave nodules on the plants' roots filled with nitrogen. However, you have to kill the plants and plow them under before they go to seed or they will use that nitrogen to feed themselves.

10:03 AM  
Blogger Matron said...

I know what you mean, so much hard work to shell peas and beans and just a few spoonfuls - but what a gourmet treat!

5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been there, have eaten those peas! I've tried for 2 years but obviously have not done it right. I'm beginning to think that down here I may only be able to get a fall/early winter crop of peas. Which is what I'm going to try this fall. For what it's worth, where the peas were last year is where the tomatoes are this year and they are doing better than any tomatoes I've ever grown. It's got to be the nitrogen fixing activity of the peas... Or maybe it's just magic, but then again pretty much everything about gardening is still magic to me!

9:00 PM  
Blogger said...

great site----enjoy those peas---it's too hot here 115 to do peas---but i did put in some long beans---can't wait till they are hanging down.

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you mean?

4:13 AM  

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