Saturday, March 27, 2010

Down the vegetable garden: peas in a pod

With the arrival of the longer and warmer days, it is some time since we started preparing the soil in the vegetable garden by incorporating our own compost and manure that a farmer from the village delivers from his farm. Adding organic matter to our heavy clay soil helps to improve its structure resulting in less work and plants that grow healthier.
This year we are starting our growing season earlier by sowing vegetables such as peas and mange tout in drainage pipes cut in half and planting them in the prepared soil once they are big enough. This process entails chitting the seeds in moistened tissue for a few days until their roots have started sprouting. Taking care not to damage their vulnerable root we than plant the peas in the drainage pipe. Within four weeks from starting this process the young plants are ready to be planted in their permanent position in the vegetable plot. Growing them in this way as opposed to sowing them directly onto the ground is time consuming but guarantees the crop as you can create and control more favourable conditions then if you plant them in the soil were birds and rodents can get to them. If you make use of a south facing wall, you can have earlier peas. There has been times in the past when we have needed to sow peas three times. Talking with friends in the village who are keen gardeners and with whom we share an interest in gardening, this year they needed to do several sowing of peas and still have few plants. It is nice to share our experiences and tips with them. We look forward to our first peas, if everything goes well, by the end of April or very early May. We have also used this method of growing with the beetroots and they look very happy and advanced compared with previous years. Worth the extra work. We look forward to the first crops.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Click link to read more.