The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Planting peas

Snow pea in the ground, and feeding extra peas to chickens

Tradition dictates that we plant our first peas on Valentine's Day, but the weather thought otherwise --- it snowed on Valentine's Day, and on the four days thereafter.   We finally got lucky on Friday, with a stunning day that sent us scurrying in five directions to take advantage of the warmth.

I had soaked my snow pea seeds the night before, so they were plump and ready to hit the ground running.  Without fungicidal coatings (that pink stuff on some storebought seeds), the earliest spring peas are in a footrace, trying to sprout and grow before bad fungi in the cold, wet soil causes them to rot.  Since it's supposed to be a stunning weekend (temperature in the fifties!!!), I've got high hopes for my peas.

As always, I soaked a few peas too many, so I tossed them to our four year old hens.  These girls are still laying, probably because I give them treats now and then like these plump peas or last week's chickweed.  They gobbled down my excess seeds in seconds and then stood and stared up at me --- more please?

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.



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I have no experience, but would soaking the peas in a liquid known to have fungicidal tendancies, like garlic water or chamomile tea, help to give the peas a headstart over the fungus? Might work... or you could maybe companion plant garlic, or water with chamomile.
Comment by Bethany James Sun Feb 21 16:21:06 2010
That's a really good suggestion! I'd love to see a side by side comparison of peas soaked in garlic water, peas soaked in chamomile tea, and those just soaked in water. Have you planted your peas yet?
Comment by anna Sun Feb 21 18:48:27 2010
I haven't planted yet, but then again, I didn't even know I was supposed to soak them. Maybe that's why I had such low germination rates last year. I guess I'll do a little experiment and soak them in the different liquids. We're trying another little experiment with the peas this year, but I'll post pictures of that on my blog. I'm hoping to get them in next week. We're traveling this weekend, so it'll have to wait till we get back. Thanks for the planting inspiration!
Comment by Bethany James Wed Feb 24 08:58:06 2010
I'll look forward to hearing about both experiments! You don't absolutely have to soak the seeds, but it really helps give them a jumpstart. It won't hurt to start them later, either --- we'll be planting more peas in a few weeks.
Comment by anna Wed Feb 24 14:04:30 2010





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