Little marvels, and the not-so-marvelous

Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Little Marvel peas forming on the vine

The pea pods are beginning to swell with their precious pearl-shaped orbs inside. I don't have many pea plants this year -- only about 7 or 8 plants grew from an older packet of Little Marvel peas I found in my seed stash. Numbers-wise, it's a less than marvelous crop. We'll most certainly have fewer peas than last year, hardly enough for a meal, but we'll at least have a few token ones to taste.

While it always helps to start with fresh seed, good soil helps too. The germination of our peas was probably hampered by our less-than-stellar soil. We planted in topsoil purchased from Home Depot last fall, and it really needs help. It's sandy, dry, and apparently lacking in nutrients.

A sure indicator of the soil's infertility is my radishes. They've been sputtering along for at least two months now, and all I have to show for it are these puny, thumbnail-size nubs. Radishes are said to be one of the fastest and easiest plants to grow, but mine are the most pathetic little radishes I've ever seen. Little marvels? Not so much.


Blogger Stacy said...

We love Black Kow and peat moss mixed in with the top soil, makes a soil mix the plantsies just adore.

8:52 PM  
Blogger Miranda Bell said...

You're absolutely right about getting the soil right - with such changeable weather patterns too it doesn't make growing veg easy!! Last year most people in Brittany lost their whole potato crop to blight - one tip which seemed to work if you ever end up in this situation is to cut the stems to soil level - a month or two on I dug up delicious potatoes!

Keep up the good work.... Miranda

7:20 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Growing peas is one of the first ways to beef up the soil, so you're already on the right track--make sure to leave the roots in the ground when you pull up the plants. The collected nitrogen will stick around for future crops. Legumes in general, as you know, are great introductory crops in a new garden.

Sorry to hear about the sad radishes.

7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I thought radishes were flexible little plants.
Never mind - next time try growing the scary giant Japanese radish the Daikon!

7:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had the same problem with my fresh soil last year. Although mine was a mix of topsoil and compost, there were no worms and other good buggers in it. I had pinkie sized radishes! And it took forever for my other plants to start growing, they just sat the same size for what seemed like an eternity. This year things seem to be growing much better.


11:40 AM  
Blogger Gardenista said...

I hope you get some nice sweet peas to eat with the rest of your edibles! Sounds delicious at your house. My peas are just poking out of the ground and the radishes just sprouted. Mine have always failed in the past too. Here's hoping!

Those strawberries look great too.

1:25 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

Pea season is almost over here as it gets hot. Oh, I look forward to pea season like I do tomato season!

I had the same issue with my last crop of radishes. They came out so tiny

8:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poor little radish! I'm really hoping for great tomatoes this season- do you think will do better than last year since we've had some rain?

11:45 AM  
Blogger J-Dog said...

the Lasagna bed I made (compost, saw dust, peat, leaves) apparently is just what my radishes needed, I think probably because its such a loose airy soil that the radishes had pleanty of room to grow. I pulled some huge ones yesterday. But, my peas just sprouted and my strawberries are mostly dead, so we can't win them all. lol

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one with few peas and tiny radishes. I've gotta get some compost in there, asap!

3:27 PM  
Blogger vegmonkey said...

Peas look great! I know what you mean about the radishes though, mine are the same this year. Last year they were much better. I think the slugs eat them, causing a check in growth maybe?

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, everything in your garden is so advanced. I'm still waiting for my seeds to germinate though I have seen the peas popping through in the past few days.

I still really love this new look at your blog (which I guess isn't new anymore is it?) :)

1:18 PM  
Blogger Jeremy Dore ( said...

I don't have that many peas this year either but it's not too much of a concern because my family all eat them out of the pod as they're so sweet - they never make it to the kitchen anyhow!
I find that radishes, if they don't grow quickly, go too woody in texture to be nice. They do seem to like good soil.

12:09 PM  
Blogger Sophie said...

I'm sorry your radishes aren't growing :(. This one looks so cute, though -- like a mini radish :D.

3:20 PM  

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