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Fruiting Planting Days in Early Spring

I so so so hate it when I lose a variety!

For years I have had a variety of snow pea that resisted the powdery mildew that the early spring warm weather up here brings on.  It was shorter than most climbing snow peas – about 1.7 metres tall, with a white flower and a really prolific crop over a long time, bearing right through the warming September weather.

Last year it bore so much that we couldn’t eat all the snow peas, and I let some go to seed and dry off on the vine and turned the peas into hummus.  But the hummus was too good, and when I went to plant this year I discovered I’d gone and cooked them all.

Usually I have a back up plan or two – friends that I’ve given the seed to, and a garden diary entry somewhere telling me where the original seed came from.  But both these seem to have failed this time.  I went ahead and planted a new variety – Melting Mammoth – which is supposed to be wilt resistant, but as you can see, they just haven’t done it. We have had a few good picks from it, but nothing like the crop of last year’s variety.

The consolation is that at least I have room for planting the summer fruiting seedlings I have been raising in the shadehouse. These guys are coming out today, and in their place is going the San Mazano tomatoes and the tomatillos I planted as seed in mid-winter.  I’m also planting out the capsicums (Corno de Toro), eggplants (Snowy and Red),  and basil (lime and Thai).

I have one (just one – I’m being disciplined!) continental cucumber to plant out, and one zucchini and one squash.  I shall try to get some distance between them and the peas because they are also susceptible to powdery mildew, but maybe it’s a different kind because they don’t seem to be that vulnerable – or maybe they are benefiting from the nettle and seaweed brew I’ve been feeding them in the shadehouse.

In their place in the shadehouse this time, I’m focusing on beans.  I always have a dilemma about beans – there are so many good varieties.  I really liked the Purple Kings last year, not so much for fresh beans as for the big pink seeds as a kidney bean substitute.  I like Blue Lake for the white cannellini beans as well as for fresh green beans,  and brown seeded snake beans are always my favourite for fresh green beans.  I have some zebra beans that I want to try as well  this year.

But if anyone has any idea what my snow pea variety was, I’d love to hear.  And this time, I’ll write it down!

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • dixiebelle September 19, 2010, 6:38 pm

    I love beans… and am trying to plant more varieties this year, and grow lots to be abel to have dried beans!

    Hope you find your snow pea variety again!

  • Anonymous September 19, 2010, 9:35 pm

    This is the second year that I have planted ‘Oregon Dwarf’. It sounds very similar… small white flowers, less than two meters and absolutely prolific. No mildew here in my Melbourne patch. Good luck with your search. Love to hear the mystery solved.

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