The Peas are Rising

The weather seems to have stabilized a bit.   We’ve had one full day without rain and today is looking clear.  The predicted 36 deg. low on Wednesday turned into 40 deg. here at the house.  The zucchini transplants were planted in the ground yesterday, and even though the night time lows are staying well above freezing,  I used the heavy row cover to cover the tender plants.

Zuchinni Transplants

The 0.9 -oz/sq.yd. AG 30 feels like a down comforter next to the thin cottony sheet of the AG 19 at 0.55-oz/sq.yd.  The AG 30 is noticeably less permeable to water, and so I’m glad the soil profile was nearly saturated when we covered up the little plants.  Cucurbits are challenging to grow profitably in our cool climate.  Last year we harvested about 6 cucumbers off a 200 ft. row.  The zucchini is not nearly as touchy, but every little degree, especially at night,  makes a difference.

The second succession of peas went in the ground on Monday, twenty five days after the first.  For the first time we are trying tall vine varieties.  The thought is that the coolness of the summer will allow the longer lived vines to produce more per bed foot than the shorter varieties.  Our limited growing space of one acre  has instigated some management decisions like this.  Growing on less acreage also allows time in our schedule for building trellis for the climbers.

Peas on TrellisI’m always amused when I go to nurseries and see plants like peas or carrots being sold as transplants.  I think about the excited gardeners who buy these starts and spend hours transplanting and I cringe.  I have contemplated a meathod of starting peas in the greenhouse in trough-like cells that can be laid out by the foot and my friends at Blue Fox Farm have turned my head concerning corn transplants, but the simple efficiency of direct seeding can not be denied.

The Planet Jr. is one of my favorite tools.  It’s like an old truck that requires 5 simultaneous actions to get the engine started.  It takes time to discover which hole size to use for each variety of seed, which I  slightly alter depending on the soil conditions I encounter in the field.   I record each seeding event and through the years spend less and less time thinning and more time admiring this simple machine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *