Peas are up!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The peas I planted at the beginning of March are about an inch tall now. I'm testing three varieties: Alaska, the romantic sounding Meraviglia D'Italia, and Wando. I planted them all together so that they're all getting the same type of soil and light. So far the Wandos are doing the best, followed by the Alaskans. At a distant third are the not-so-marvelous meraviglias.

Wando peas are supposed to be fairly heat tolerant, so I have high hopes that they'll hold up when our spring snaps into summer. Last year I let my peas mature in the June heat and they turned bitter. Absolutely worthless. I plan to do better this year and harvest them before it gets too hot.

Inside under the grow lights, I have a couple of globe artichoke plants that are coming along nicely. I also started my tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. Most of those have their first "true" leaves now, so I transplanted them into larger pots. The eggplants were slow to start, but now that I added a heat mat underneath them, they seem to be picking up the pace. That's the good news.

The bad news? The groundhog is back! Or rather, our resident groundhog came out of hibernation. It spent the winter under our deck out back. I spotted it lumbering across the lawn on Sunday, looking notably slimmer than it was last fall. Surely it's hungry!

The city police department provided us with a trap so that we can catch it and get it out of here humanely. With groundhog in place, there's little hope for those peas, artichokes, and everything else we want to plant in the garden.

So wouldn't you know it...we set up the trap on Sunday and the groundhog hasn't been seen since. I'm sure it's still around though. Most annoying is that we have to bait the trap with fresh carrots and apples; this after the beast munched up practically everything edible in our garden (and the neighbor's) last fall. Curses!


Blogger Jennifer AKA keewee said...

I am almost ready to dig down and see what on earth the peas I planted are doing. There I go, being an impatient gardener.*grin*
It has been rather cool, so I suppose they are taking their own sweet time making an appearance.

10:18 PM  
Blogger Daphne Gould said...

I hate when animals decide my garden is on the menu. I hope you can get that one out of there before you garden is his dinner.

1:11 PM  
Anonymous Linda said...

Good luck with the groundhog. My garden was eaten by voles last year, underground terrors, so I can sympathize. I put in stone walls and raised beds and am optimistically looking forward to a harvest this year.

4:20 PM  
Blogger Jo said...

Good luck with the peas.

I've just got my first allotment and can't wait to get something planted.

5:19 AM  
Blogger Paul and Melanie said...

I need to get some peas in in the next few days, I seem to have got behind with them this year... What do people grow them up? I used some chicken wire last year but was wondering if other people have a better plan?

8:42 AM  
Anonymous Liz said...

Your artichokes look great. Two of mine didn't make it through the winter so I think I'm going to have to grow some more.

1:44 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Your starts look great!

Oh, eggplants are the slowest seedlings ever, aren't they? I can't believe how long they take me. Next year, I'm starting my eggplants in January.

I feel your pain about the groundhog. My front lawn looks like a minefield with all the gopher hills. Argh!

6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At what point did your peas start bearing mature pods last year? I've got a plot over at your old stomping grounds, Newark Street Community Garden, and I'm particularly excited about the peas. That's good to hear about Wando being heat resistant - that's one of the varieties I planted as well!

4:33 PM  
Blogger Shady Gardener said...

Oh, for heaven's sakes. A groundhog? Looks like he's enjoying your garden. Sorry about that. :-(

11:39 PM  
Anonymous The Drooling Vegetable said...

"Wando peas" - what a great name for a pea!

I've gone for some Italian artichokes. I suspect they may be rather boring, but the name is in Italian - Violetto Romanseco - so it sounds glamorous even if it's just Italian for something like "bog-standard veggie"...

4:15 PM  
Anonymous Cheap Cell said...

I am sure they will be great in a pasta salad!

10:47 PM  
Anonymous sb158 said...

My sister had a groundhog. She dumped a well-used cat litter pan, all "ingredients" included, down it's burrow and covered it with dirt. The beastie never came back.

12:35 AM  
Blogger Faith said...

We trapped a groundhog last year. It was really an amazing creature and I learned a lot about them.

But the way we did it, is we found where the burrow was and trapped it there. They only forage about 300 feet from their burrows, so you might want to take a stroll and find a big hole, likely at the base of a rock or tree or something like that.

Then set the trap directly in front of the hole and stack rocks or logs or something on each side so that the groundhog is guided into the trap set with goodies.

We caught our rather quickly, took him for a drive, and dropped him off in some woods behind a church in the middle of nowhere and at least a mile from home. LOL


8:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


7:12 AM  

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