It’s exciting when the radishes are ready to be eaten – but only because they are first. I appreciate their bite, colour and above all else, their early arrival, but I don’t love the radishes. And I’m happy when the greens are ready for early harvest. It’s so nice to bring in an assortment of leaves of dinner. Put it’s the appearance of peas that truly marks summer on my calendar. This year on the wet west coast, summer seems to be stalling in its arrival, so it’s with a sense of utter delight that I announce that the peas have arrived.
They are growing – tall, strong and beautiful . The vines are covered in flowers and the early pods are thickening. I’m oh so tempted to break into the fresh treat, but they are not ready. I know they are not ready. The kids know, because they are constantly told, that they are not ready. And yet, it doesn’t seem to make it any easier to wait.
Peas prefer mild climates and can be planted very early in the spring. We started ours inside in March and planted them into the beds in April. Because we’ve got the space for tall varieties, the peas are near the back of the garden bed where they won’t cast too much shade on other plants. If you have a particularly hot plot, you could use the peas to create partial shade for plants that bolt in extreme heat – like many leafy greens.
Because peas like the cool weather, if you missed planting some early in the spring, there is still a chance to sow in August for a fall harvest.
Peas tolerate crowding and even produce well in container. Plant them thick and enjoy lots of peas. They are a great choice for small space gardens, biodynamic gardeners, folks with an eye towards freezing for the winter or just about anybody!
A few tips for good peas:
- water close to the ground, avoiding the plant. They do fine with minimal watering in spring weather, assuming the soil holds the moisture well.
- pick the peas often – the more you pick, the more the plant rewards you
- support with a strong trellis
- perfect pH is btw 6 – 6.5
Peas are about the easiest possible vegetable for seed saving. They self fertilize, so as long as you have non-gmo seeds, mature seeds can be dried and used for the next crop.
Peas are perfect little orbs of green goodness, and ours are ALMOST ready. So today I give gratefulness to the garden not only for the bounty and the beauty, but for the practice of patience. Now grow peas. My patience is running thin!