Posts Tagged ‘peas’

Good Year for Peas

Thursday, July 7th, 2016
Trellised Peas

Trellised Peas

We’re having a bountiful pea harvest this year.  The trellising system I’ve employed for the past few years works very well in allowing the peas to climb tall.  The picture above, taken a few weeks ago shows, from left to right, snow peas, capucijner soup peas and two stands of sugar peas.

Both varieties of sugar peas are types where you can eat the whole pod, or let them grow larger to eat the peas inside.  We usually forgo any attempt to get loose peas and we’ve been eating the whole pod.  They taste great and you get more for your money.  You just have to pick them before the pod starts to get stringy and tough.

Capucijner Peas

Capucijner Peas

The capucijner peas could be eaten as a fresh pea, but that would be wasting the best soup pea we’ve come across.  We’ve been growing capucijners with our own saved seed for over twenty years.  As you can see in the top picture, they are exceptionally vigorous.  We pick the pods when they are nearly dry.  If allowed to completely dry on the vine, the pods split and peas start to fall out onto the ground.

The trellis system we use is great in that it puts the peas right up at eye level for harvesting and it makes it easy to reach in to get all the peas.  Here’s an old post that shows how It’s done.

Judy posted some of the ways she is using up our great pea harvest.  You can read about them here

 

 

 

 

2015 Garden Review

Tuesday, December 15th, 2015
Potato Blossoms

Potato Blossoms

The 2015 CobraHead Home Garden was a great success. The garden is never the same from year to year. Weather, seed and plant inputs, labor, luck, and a lot of other variables make each garden season a new experience. That’s an advantage for home gardeners. They don’t need perfection to be successful, and last year’s errors are only lessons for the future. I like to tell beginning gardeners not to worry. Plant enough different stuff and some of it will turn out great in spite of your mistakes or misfortunes.  We had some pretty miserable failures this year, but overall most plants did fine and we harvested as much as we could hope for.

Potatoes in Open Raised Bed

Potatoes in Open Raised Bed

200 Pounds of Potatoes

200 Pounds of Potatoes

We had our largest potato harvest ever.  We’re storing them in a straw bale cold storage structure I set up in the barn.

One Potato - Over Four Pounds

One Potato – Over Four Pounds

Sweet Potato Starts in Flat

Sweet Potato Starts in Flat

Sweet potatoes are a crop we are famous for, and this year’s harvest was among our best ever.  I’m continuing to start my sweet potatoes from sprouted old roots.  It’s really easy.

Peas Interplanted with Greens in Open Raised Bed

Peas Interplanted with Greens in Open Raised Bed

T-Post and Bamboo Tomato Trellis.

T-Post and Bamboo Tomato Trellis.

Squash Trellises

Squash Trellises

We continue to use T-posts as our primary trellis structure supports.  I like them because they are cheap, nearly indestructible, and they can handle huge loads.

Low Hoop Tunnels

Low Hoop Tunnels

Cabbages

Cabbages

We’re getting better at transplanting seedlings directly from indoor spouting to a low tunnel hoop house.  This eliminates time consuming “hardening off”  and gives us some really vigorous starts.

Giant Swiss Snow Pea

Giant Swiss Snow Pea

Radishes and Peas in the Pan

Radishes and Peas in the Pan

We grew a new (for us) snow pea called Giant Swiss.  It was prolific and delicious.  Here’s a frying pan with peas and radishes, the first time we’ve ever cooked radishes, which is something we should have been doing  a long time ago.

Harvest of Smaller Squash

Harvest of Smaller Squash

Boston Marrow Squash

Boston Marrow Squash

Our trellised smaller winter squash and our larger trailing vine squash were both super productive.  We are trying to figure out what to do with it all.

Mustard in the Pea Patch

Mustard in the Pea Patch

We’re getting more and more vegetables and herbs to be perennials or volunteers.  It’s our sort of stab at permaculture.  Mustard is now a weed in the garden, along with cilantro and kale, and several types of onions and garlic.

Comfrey

Comfrey

Big Yields

Big Yields

An inedible weed, but one I’m encouraging for its properties as a compost plant is comfrey.  I just have to be careful it doesn’t take over everything.  It’s too easy to grow.

Celery

Celery

One of our miserable failures this year was celery.  It’s looking great here in the picture, but I didn’t pay attention to its watering needs and ended up with a mostly unusable batch of hollow stems.

Dwarf Gray Sugar Pea

Dwarf Gray Sugar Pea

Leatherwing beetles on tansy

Leatherwing beetles on tansy

We write about our garden and show pictures on our blog, so I thought I needed a macro lens to help give us some cool photos.  I’m not into insect sex life, but the macro really gives some nice detail.

We’re still harvesting leeks, Brussels sprouts, and various greens as our unusually mild December draws to a close.  I would have to rate the 2015 garden one of the best ever.  Now we’ll see what the new year brings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

494 Peas – More or Less

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Here’s me, yesterday, atop a bed, planting peas.  We had a nice little break in the rainy weather, so I took the opportunity to get my peas seeded.  I’m using a large piece of plywood to kneel on.  The plywood disperses my weight and allows me to get right on top of the bed.  It makes the work much easier that trying to reach in from the sides to set the peas in place.

The bed has just over 36″ of flat planting width across the top.  I’m planting the peas 2 inches apart and planting a double row using back to back yardsticks as my guide.  So I end up with a double row of peas with 19 peas in each row.

This year I’m spacing the rows 18 inches apart.  Last year I used a 15″ spacing, which worked out fine, but I think the extra 3″ will allow a little more sun in and give me more room to plant lettuces and salad greens in between the peas.  I did that last year with good success.

 

Once the peas begin to sprout, I’ll set up trellises using T-posts and 24″ fencing.  Here’s a picture of last year’s peas showing the trellises in place and lettuces around and in between the peas.

I ended up with 13 double rows – roughly 494 peas.  I planted six varieties, various snap and shell peas, capuciner soup peas (our favorite),  and some snow peas.  I’ve got the shorter sugar pea varieties planted in the south end and the tall capuciners and snow peas to the north.  I don’t ever get 100% germination, although the home-saved capuciner peas sprout extremely vigorously, and I normally don’t have to thin the pea seedlings.  This year I’ll be diligent about protecting them from woodchucks and other varmints. I’ve had some issues with critters when I did not get fencing up quickly enough. This year, with luck, we can expect a bountiful harvest not too many weeks away.