Friday, February 19, 2016
Like Thomas Jefferson, I adore peas. Unlike Jefferson, I grow the edible-podded kind, the sugar snap peas. I have a lot to contend with an order to get my peas, please. First, there are the voles. See my various entries on voles to learn how I am trying to defeat them. The second enemy is rabbits. This year, I will be completely fencing in my peas, and my beans, from the bunnies who love to mow them down. It seems that nothing attracts rabbits to my garden faster than legumes. The last obstacle to growing lots of wonderful peas is the weather. Here in the central region of Virginia, spring is short and the hot weather often comes quickly. Peas abhor hot weather, ending their production and dying when it gets too warm. Typically, peas are planted on St. Patrick's Day. However, I find that this is too short a season for peas. Of course, planting earlier is often too early, and they get zapped by frost. I have tried planting them under row covers with some success, but this year I am starting my peas indoors in peat pots. I noted on the local botanical garden's blog that this is how they start their peas. I am hoping that this will give me a significant head start, so all I will have a longer pea-producin' season than usual.
Many plants, when started indoors, need to have some bottom heat. This includes tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers. I start these in flats, atop heat mats. However peas, along with lettuce and other greens, will not sprout if the soil is too warm. So, my sunroom, which stays around 50° at night, and no higher than 70° during the day in the winter, should be perfect.