Thursday, June 7, 2012

No Peas Here

Pea blossoms.
This week I pulled all of my snap peas. Usually, they are just now in full production, but the early heat and drought have taken a toll. I was able to feed my craving for snap peas with a few handfuls, but not satisfy it in any way. Certainly, this year no peas went into the freezer.

So I am planning something crazy -- planting peas for fall harvest. That means planting peas -- which like cool soil temperatures to germinate -- in the heat of July or August. Yeah, I know, crazy.

It is even more nuts when you take into account that I have made such attempts before with no success. OK, so once I got a handful of peas.

But I will try. Because I love snap peas that much. First I will water the intended pea rows and lay down boards and heavy mulch to cool the soil for a few weeks. After I plant, the boards might even remain in place until the peas sprout. Then shade cloth will protect the seedlings a bit from the intense sun. With any luck, they will grow well until temperatures cool and rains return.

As extra insurance that the peas will sprout, I can soak the pea seeds for a couple of days before planting, to sprout them before they get into the soil. Or I could even start the peas in little pots a couple of weeks before I plan to put them in the garden. That's a lot of little pots of peas, though. Maybe I could do both.

I've got about a month or so to talk myself out of this craziness. But what do I gain if I don't try?

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