Friday, March 30, 2012

March 17 - Plant the Peas Experiment

In New England and most of the Northeastern USA, the traditional day to sow the first crop of peas outdoors  in the vegetable garden is St. Patrick's Day. We had such a strange summer-like week in mid-March it almost seemed like it was time to plant other veggies, but I didn't succumb. I knew the weather would return to normal and the temperatures would plunge back to 40s or 50s during the day, and freezing or colder at night. And they have. Two nights ago we had a hard freeze and a snow shower.

But, I did sow my peas on March 17, two ways. I'm trying an experiment this year.  I planted 12 pea seeds in the house in a recycled egg carton filled with organic potting soil, and I planted 12 pea seeds  in the soil of one side of my planting box outside, inter planted with the garlic I put in last fall. The first shoots from the garlic were pushing up through the soil, so I knew the dirt was warm enough to sow the peas.

Well, the official pea planting day was 2 weeks ago.  The indoor peas sprouted and were ready to open up their first leaves, so today I hardened them off and planted them under cover in the cold frame, near the spinach plants that have been growing under cover since last fall.

Peas transplanted to cold frame soil March 30, 2012.
So far the peas planted outdoors haven't sprouted, although the garlic is doing well and in the flower garden I'm starting to see shoots from daffodils and tulips. We'll see which group of peas fares better - the ones that I planted directly into the soil or the peas that I started in the house and moved into the cold frame next to the spinach. In the meantime, I bought 4 blueberry bushes (2 each of two different varieties) and I'm working on digging out the compacted clay soil where I want to plant them. I need to get some sand and manure to add to the planting holes and get them into the ground this weekend. But that's a story for a future post.

Happy Spring!

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