Saturday, May 16, 2009


Although we have lots of plants started this year we don't have much out yet besides greens and snow peas. But oh do we ever have snow peas. First we soaked them overnight and planted them in a bed outside. After we'd finished that we realized we still had lots of extras that were already soaked so we either needed to use them or throw them out.

We used up some of them by planting them in toilet paper tubes and keeping them inside to germinate. The rest we put between two damp paper towels to sprout. Once those sprouted we picked one of our big barrels outside that needed to have a non-nightshade in it this year (for disease avoidance rotation reasons) and planted them in it.

So now, although we already had a bed and a container filled with peas waiting to sprout outside we also had these inside:

Since I have trouble throwing away any baby plants we found another container to plant these in. We used freshly cut branches to make a tipi for them once they start climbing:

Here's where we learned our first lesson: even though we planted the sticks upside down they still started to get buds on them and they're probably rooting. That may be a fun mistake to deal with later in the year. Next time we'll use dry bamboo.

We also learned that peas transplant fine. But here is the really interesting thing: the ones we started inside and put out last are the biggest. The ones we sprouted and then planted outside are considerably behind them and the ones we planted directly outside are the furthest behind. So the lesson is that if you can manage to keep seedlings inside as long as possible they'll get bigger faster than if you put them outside and it's still chilly. I'm sure this information was already in a book somewhere but it's much more convincing when you experience it first hand.

Finally, did you know if you have extra peas plants that need thinning you can toss the pea greens in salad as long as they're still fairly small? It's crazy to think that what some gardeners throw away other people pay big money for at restaurants. Speaking of salad...well you'll just have to keep checking back for that post.


  1. pretty cool!
    I also started some peas- and finally got around to planting them because the roots were starting to tangle. they're not doing too well,though. do you know if they like full shade- full sun, or none of the above? (they're seeming to be temperamental)

  2. I started some beets, some arugulas, and some swiss chards, but I put them straight into the garden and didn't mark where any of them were, and now I've lost them! Today I went out to randomly water some patches where I thought the seeds might possibly be, and found that some of them are starting to come up! I'm very excited, I only wish I knew which kind of plant my shoots are going to turn into.