Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sugar snap peas...

From the comments... something I wrote responding to someone who wanted to know more about sugar snap peas. They're easy, and as you can trellis them, they make a great "between the row" crop in small spaces like mine. It's hard to see in the pictures below, but I have four crops growing in what is essentially a single three-foot row: Broccoli right next to a trellis full of peas, which is itself right next to a row of hybrid, multi-color carrots, and then, mixed alongside the carrots, a few dozen parsnips. So long as you have a lot of compost and a lot of water in play, you can plant this densely. Probably everything is slowed down and there's some compromise for each individual plant's optimal production/size, but maybe not... I get a LOT of broccoli out of this row, and as you can see, a lot of peas. The carrots (there's a picture of them, too) are about ready for harvest, but will continue to grow happily for at least another month. I don't know why I grew the parsnips... I've grown them in the past. They do OK here in Florida, but not as sweet as the ones from up North. I'd be better off growing more carrots, but parsnips make a nice change, and they grow well enough here... 

OK, anyway, I don't have time to write this entry, so, here's what I said earlier about peas...
hmmm... well, let's see:
1) i use a hybrid, super sugar snap. i like them. sometimes i grow them out to have peas, sometimes we just eat them as snow peas.
2) plant them anytime in the late fall/winter. they get nipped by frost but usually always bounce back.
3) plant them DENSE... i mean, like, three peas per inch, in a zigzag. then, oversow as they grow. the ones hanging on the support you see in the picture below are the result of three distinct plantings, about a month apart.
4) use a lot of compost but little or no fertilizer. mine are growing between carrots and broccoli. really dense planting there--lots of crops in about a 2' wide row. so, you need lots of organic material. but peas don't produce well if there's too much nitrogen, so here, in this case, i just fertilized on the outside of this triple row, along the rootline of the broccoli and carrots. right?
5) water generously.
6) be sure to pick them before the peas get too big and then dry... i think that makes the plant 'turn off' and stop producing, but maybe that's just superstition.
7) full sun, ideally with a little afternoon shade, which will buy you a week more fruit.
8) they burn out eventually, when it starts to get too hot. but until they do, they're really easy and tasty.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you

Joe said...

Love sugar snap peas. They are simple to grow and produce lots of pods.