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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Familiar beginnings

Garden Fairie Selfie #9
I've been sowing peas or helping to sow peas in the early spring in the garden for as long as I can remember.  Fifty years, at least.

How early I've planted has varied and I'll admit there was a time when I actually waited too long in the spring to sow peas and as a result, I didn't get a good harvest.

I figured out what my problem was several years ago when I found an old packet of pea seeds in a box of seeds my Dad had from the last spring he planted a garden.

Right there on the packet he wrote "Planted March 6, with onions".

Dad's packet of pea seeds from 1987
I'm not sure why or when I strayed off the spring garden path and started planting peas later in the spring. And by later, I mean early April. But once I found that old packet of seeds, I started sowing seeds in early March and have now settled on March 17th,  St. Patrick's Day, as my target date to sow peas in the garden.

Just for fun, I use a soil thermometer to make sure the soil temperature on March 17th is above 40F, which is what pea seeds need to germinate.
A soil thermometer comes in handy
 So far, the ground has always been warm enough to plant peas by the 17th.

If I had not built raised beds for my veg garden and instead had to till it up each spring, I would not have been able to sow peas yesterday. The ground is soft and wet, and still frozen in some places, so it is too soon to till it up. But because I have raised beds in my veg garden, which warm up faster in the spring, I merely had to rake the bed smooth, pull a few pockets of henbit, and plant.

It's a familiar beginning to the gardening season, one I can do from memory after fifty or so years of starting spring in a veg garden.

6 comments:

Justin B. said...

I just planted my peas last weekend and they are already germinated and showing their little green heads. I like your blog.

Commonweeder said...

I don't 'know' my soil is too cold yet, even in front of the house where I now plant early crops, but I suspect it will be cold for a while. However, now I am lusting for a soil thermometer so I could check, and not lose a moment of growing time.

LostRoses said...

Nice to have that note from the past. Happy sowing!

outlawgardener said...

It's nice that we can start anew in the garden each year, correct mistakes from the previous season, and look forward to the summer to come. The rhythm of the garden year is very special.
How beautiful that your dad is still acting as your garden coach from the other side!

Indie said...

A nice note to find! It's a good reminder to me, as well, to get started out there...

ProfessorRoush said...

I always used St. Patty's; was taught that by my father and grandfather. But lately I've been letting it go a little later due to the longer winters.