On St. Paddy’s Day peas

img_0802Foggy lens in the hot greenhouse:  baby pea shoot from a 3/5 sowing

Sylvie inquired if a photo I had posed recently was of peas growing in the greenhouse.  It wasn’t but *smacks forehead* what a stellar idea!  The greenhouses are easily a month or two ahead of the outdoor world, so I planted a row of peas along the back wall of the old greenhouse.  I also interplanted some lettuces with fava beans.

St. Patrick’s Day is a traditional one for Zone 6-7 folks to sow their first peas, fava beans, and potatoes.  The weather has been fairly spotty on this date for this particular Zone 6 homestead, but yesterday was warm, verging on hot, so out came the peas and pea innoculant.  In years past, the voles have done in all my baby peas, the little creeps; this may yet be the case this year.  Favas tend to come up later and miss the vole surge.  So I hedged my bets by also planting a bed of peas in the new greenhouse too.  The favas all went outdoors, but I make many sowings of these things:  maybe 4 different sets, spacing 2-3 weeks apart because this is the only crop that gets infested with aphids.  But potatoes?  That planting date is months away.

Green thoughts!

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13 responses to “On St. Paddy’s Day peas

  1. how do you control the temp in your greenhouse? mine is up and i love it (it’s 16×16) and been getting up to ninety or a hundred during the day. not good for seedlings.

  2. I planted my peas on Monday. I have them in pots on the front porch and in my small hoop house in the back. I’m hoping they do well!

  3. I’ve been harvesting snow and snap peas pretty much all winter.

    Of course, we won’t be able to have a single one from about the end of the month on. I’m already letting the first group go all the way out so I can save the seed. Any tips on that? I’m also enjoying the gorgeous broccoli blooms and hoping for seed from them, too.

    It’s planting time for peppers and tomatoes and okra and squash here. I’m actually woefully behind, but there are mitigating factors. I’m working on it.

    Cute sprout photo.

  4. Zandt, where are you located? I’m in Mobile, AL.

    I planted peas back in January. Dern squirrels, or rabbits, have eaten each tiny sprout as it gets to be about 1″ tall. Of course, I didn’t really plant with them being my sole food, which is good, but if I did, I’d probably find a way to keep them safer. It was an experiment that failed. Or I failed. I’ll try again. I understand mitigating factors, ours is a fence to keep in the bulldog. :o/

  5. We are zone 6 we plant potatoes on Easter! The rest we plant like you!

    Linda
    http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com/

  6. Peas planted 10 tens ago outside, and if i slightly scratch the soil, I see they have germinated. Should emerge in a day or 2.

  7. meant – peas planted 10 days ago… etc etc

  8. These are the best kind of “green” in my opinion. 🙂 We are over here in zone 6, and I heard a lot about sowing peas the past few days too – funny, until this year, it never hit me, even though I’m sure the conversation was still there.

  9. Hi Molly, we have both roll-up sides and top vents (at the edges of the end walls) to cool things off. It’s still toasty but that’s okay for the little guys as long as they have water and as long as it doesn’t stay hot forever: nighttime temperatures usually dip quite nicely for them. I throw the doors open too but have to ensure that the openings are chicken-proof: they LOVES themselves some greenhouse seedlings.

    Mrs Chiot: Cute! Potted peas! I think pea vines are really pretty; maybe it’s the leaf shape?

    Oh yeah Zandt rub it in!! Now what I have come to learn about you all in the hot parts of the country is that high summer is our dead-of-winter: we all have our dead zones in other words. Peas are easy to dry; just let them shrink up on the vine (that way they’re getting the absolute last gasp of moisture from the vines). Just don’t forget about them. You can also pull the whole plant and hang it somewhere to dry but that can be tough if the thing has entwined itself around its support. Broccoli blossoms: we’re enjoying kale shoots now, yum!

    Jules, we all have our animal issues, especially with peas I think. I wouldn’t think a bulldog would be one though!!

    Linda, Easter sounds like a much more reasonable date for spud-planting. I hope mine make it until then as they are really super sprouty now.

    Sylvie, what’s funny is I understood what you meant!!

    MC, isn’t it funny what you start paying attention to when you learn new things? 🙂

  10. oh, El… anytime you want to share info about fava beans, I am all ear (panting, already…) I always thought VA winter were too cold and springs too warm… but I am mightily interested in your experience. Is that the first year? or have you done it successfully before?

  11. Hi Sylvie. I *adore* fava beans and really am not put off at all by their rather laborious dinner preparation requirements. They go in the ground outdoors with the peas. Because we’re so chilly here I’ve read that I need to plant them really deep (5″ or so) and have done that for years but I think it really takes them a lot of work to get out of a hole that deep so this year I put them in at only 3″. I do innoculate them; figure it can’t hurt (I use pea innoculant not bean). I will make maybe 3 sowings of them about 2 weeks apart. We are a lot cooler than you so we can get away with that; our summers aren’t hot at all (maybe 3 days over 90*) and so everything here is fairly moderate. This is the first year I planted them in the greenhouse, though; I figured by the time they get huge the lettuce they’re interplanted with will be harvested. This is an experiment, though. Like I said I always get aphids on mine but it’s usually only on the weaker plants, the ones toward the centers of the patch; this year too I am trying to simply grow them in single rows to see if that helps. Nipping off the growing tips helps with aphids but that’s only after the beans are growing; otherwise, I blast them with the hose. Hope that helps!

  12. El,
    I just discovered your wonderful blog and already have a question…..about VOLES! How do you get rid of them? I read your post about laying fencing down over the newly spouting plants (maybe this was to deter the rabbits) but I think I’m all mixed up. I thought voles ate the roots of the plants and therefore are really hard to get rid of. We have more problems with voles than any other pest (well, not counting deer). I’ve heard an old wife-tail idea of placing a stick of unchewed Juicy Fruit gum in each hole but I’d go broke trying to buy enough gum for each hole. Other ideas I’ve read include placing fencing below ground level to deter the little buggers but I’m not sure how deep to place the fencing and this sounds fairly pricey. Do you have any suggestions? How have you dealt with voles and other under ground living, plant-eating pests?
    Thanks,
    Elizabeth

    • Hi Elizabeth! Yes, voles are quite problematic. I usually have one or two in the greenhouses every winter, and they can do a lot of damage. Good for me is they move slow: I am usually able to surprise them and step on them or catch them in my hands. I also have a very willing dog and cat who help me hunt. But the way to prevent them is to find out where they’re getting in (wait: are they just in your garden or are they getting in somewhere?) and set a mousetrap with a single sunflower seed. The seeds are hard to remove and usually you can snap them in the trap.

      I ended up burying metal mesh (hardware cloth) around my old greenhouse, but not my new one. I figured out where they were getting in the new one and just captured them one by one. Outside in the garden though I am usually out of luck! Hope that helps…

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