|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.