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Planting Peas

pea plants

I’ve had to impose some discipline this month.  I have a whole southside,  two and a half metre tall fence around a newly chooked  garden bed that has nothing growing up it.  Normally this is a hotly contested kind of site.  Normally I have a tall climber – in summer beans or tomatoes or curcubits, this time of year peas or snow peas – impatiently hanging out in pots waiting for the chooks to be moved on so they can be planted out. Tall climbers planted around the south side of a bed will never shade anything to the north of them, and with roots in newly cleared and fertilised and mulched ground and all that vertical space for sun capture, this is the most highly productive space in my whole garden.

But I lost rhythm for a little while a few months ago, and the result is that the last lot of peas went in late.  That’s them in the picture.  A month old now and just starting their climb.  In a couple of months time they will be yielding all the peas we can eat.  If I plant the next lot too soon, there will be too many peas and I’ll be down to using freezer space for them or giving them away. And more to the point there won’t be any space available for a later lot, so glut of peas will be followed by want of peas.

So I’ve held my hand.  But today is a fruiting planting day, and I have six metres of fence with wood ash from the slow combustion stove dug in to well composted soil all along it, and some fresh Massey Gem pea seed, and climbing snow pea seed.  I shall plant the seed into wet ground then avoid watering till they are up, or they are likely to rot in the ground.  It rained last night so the soil is wet and there is not much rain predicted for the rest of the week.  It’s a perfect planting time.

I’ve already planted out the rest of the bed with seedlings of broccoli and celery and parsnips and celeriac in front of the peas, and silver beet and coriander and leeks and cauliflower in front of them, and spinach and lettuces and carrots and onions and parsley in front of them – staggered, mixed, sequenced nicely.  Once the peas and snow peas are up, the bed will be nicely planted out.

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