Saturday, February 25, 2012

Snow, Sun-breaks, Hail, and Planting the Peas!

Today was certainly an interesting weather day. It started snowing in the early morning hours. The snow actually stuck and accumulated a bit, but then began to melt as the sun broke out around 9:30 AM. All morning and early afternoon dark clouds kept rolling through the area, bringing another round of snow showers. During one of the sun-breaks, I decided it was time to get my pea plants in the ground.

Last Monday, at the monthly Avid Gardeners meeting, Alice Doyle of Log House Plants brought a wonderful selection of Pea plants for sale. Since the meeting was held on Presidents Day, the traditional day to plant peas in our area, Alice was selling the Peas for just $1.00 each. How could I walk away from that deal? There were many varieties to choose from but I went with a new-to-me one - "Blauschokker Purple Pod".  The tag describes it as " an open-pollinated, shelling variety. Beautiful ornamental edible. Red & violet flowers are followed by dark violet 3" pods with sweet, tasty brown-grey peas. Use peas fresh or dried in soups & casseroles. 80-90 days from transplant." Doesn't that sound interesting?!

Each 3" pot had 5 healthy plants. I set in the ground one of my bean towers from Gardener's Supply Company. On each of three sides I planted 5 of the young pea plants. The wind was gusting off and on, and the poor plants kept getting pushed to the ground. Fortunately peas are hardy and it won't be too long before their tendrils will have wrapped around the tower for the first time. Then they will be off and running.

After I planted the peas I pulled back the remay cover on my garlic bed. The garlic is looking good. The growth pattern on the hardneck variety "Chesnook Red " pictured above, is certainly different than the softneck variety "Nootka Red", pictured below.

After getting the peas planted I turned my attention to the front flower bed. It is slowly getting overtaken by young bitter-cress plants. I know from experience that if I don't get them pulled soon, the mature plants will fling seeds all over the bed. And then I will have the same situation next year. I had been weeding for 1/2 hour or so when the sky darkened and the roof started making popping sounds - hail! I ducked under the eves of the roof and watched the hail pour down.

When the storm had passed, my poor little snowdrop cluster that I had just plated earlier in the day was surrounded by hailstones. Fortunately, snowdrops are one of the many tough, spring bloomers and they showed no signs of damage. A quick walk back to the kitchen garden revealed that my peas were just fine too. Who know what the rest of the day will bring! Gardening in February isn't for sissies!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your peas and garlic look great! I think I'm a little late in planting my peas - just put the seeds in the ground a few days ago. But I'm glad to hear they can survive such winter weather. I was a little worried about that with my plants as well.