Pea Planting Time

by - February 18, 2010

This time last year I began planting my sweet peas. It was cold, but I was told peas like cold and I went for it. It took them nearly two weeks or longer for that first planting to germinate. As I was waiting for what seemed an eternity to an eager early-spring gardener, I decided to do a little reading about forcing germination indoors. Interestingly, I came across multiple pot-growers websites before I finally found some classroom experiments in germinating peas. 

How to force peas to germinate indoors: 1) Take a damp paper towel or kitchen towel and space out peas across half the towel before folding the other half on top. 2) Carefully place into a large ziplock bag and seal it being sure peas stay spaced out. 3) Find a warm dark place such as on top of the refrigerator and allow to sit for several days. 4) Once seeds have sprouts, drop them into 1" deep holes in your prepared soil and cover loosely with topsoil. If you just can't wait two weeks to see the fruits of your planting labors, this method just might be for you. I think I will skip the fun this year.

Last year I bought a half-pound bag of Thomas Laxton Peas, and there were plenty leftovers for this spring. I don't think I will be forcing the germination this time around, but I will be planting my first batch today, followed by planting new seeds every two weeks until mid-spring. Trellises aren't needed right away, but last year my peas over-topped my 5' tee pees, and since I like to plant around the structure, I might go ahead and set those up before I plant. To plant, I take a sharpie pen and poke 1" deep holes about 3" apart and drop a pea into each hole before covering them back up. Already, the soil has been tilled and the rye grass has been turned back into it along with some black hen chicken compost. I still need to add in the Black Cow, so this project may take me two days.

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  1. I planted mine too! I'd turned and turned and added eggshells and compost and sugar and other odd things I'd read about, and turned today all I had to do was rustle the soil a bit with my hands to loosen it and pop my snow peas and sweet peas in the ground. I'm doing rows within square feet to save space, and experimenting with a hanging twine trellis this year. My MIL has great success with those, and it'll be less to take down and store next winter. Might force a few indoors for fun! :) thanks for the tips!

  2. Hmmm... twine trellis! I want to try those eventually. I have tons of leftover bamboo from last year that has one more season in it, so I will use those once again. They definitely aren't strong enough for tomatoes. My tomatoes were beasts last year. What I really want are some 8ft cages but those are $$$.

  3. true dat - but I always use 1x2's from Lowe's and have them cut them in the store to fit in my car. they warp mildly, but they're super-sturdy, even in pots. I just tie my 'maters to them with knee-highs so they don't damage the stems.

    my raised beds aren't holding moisture well - I need some vermiculite and peat moss, but I think I'll have to wait until my summer crops to add those; I already gots lettuces, garlic, and peas sown, plus they's expensive!

  4. Those boards might would work, but my maters weren't the bushing kind and they grew like 5 main stems and were super leggy, meaning I'd need a whole system of boards.

    My old boxes with the peat are holding moisture, but the new plot is drying out as well. I'm wondering if a thin layer of mulch would be okay to put down before those peas sprout? I think only one bag would do me. Time to google ;)



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