Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Gardening Carnival - Sugar Snap Peas

The Gardening Carnival kicks off today!  I'm seeking information about organic gardening.  I'm going to be trying Square Foot Gardening this year by using Companion Gardening as well.  I want to avoid GM seeds and spraying chemicals.  I hope that we can all help each other by sharing our research and knowledge about gardening so that it won't be so overwhelming for us first-timers and so that we can have success in this endeavor.  Please share any knowledge you have in the comments, feel free to link to your blog if you have info there and to link back here.  You can use this picture if you want, unfortunately I haven't been able to figure out how to imbed "Gardening Carnival" into the picture.  If anyone knows, would you mind commenting below.

The first vegetable I wanted to explore for this week's Gardening Carnival are Sugar Snap Peas. These peas are our family's favorite veggie. I was nervous that I would find out that it was genetically modified but as far as I can tell it isn't. Yay! So I plan on ordering a packet from Seed Savers.

I'm going to format my notes in the following way to be able to go back for future referencing:

Seeds/SqFt - 8
Growing Season - Spring, Fall
Indoor seed starting - No, doesn't transplant well.
Earliest Outdoor Planting - 5 weeks before last spring frost, which is usually May 11th.
Location - Full sun in spring; shaded toward summer if possible.
Companions - Carrots, cucumbers, corn, beans, potatoes, turnips, and radishes, as well as many aromatic herbs.
Non-Companions - Onions, garlic, and gladiolus.
Sprouts - 10-15 days
Growing - Plant 1" deep
               - Water & cover in plastic covered tunnel?
               - Never let them dry out but keep the vines dry.
               - Weed weekly
               - Keep the vines trained up the vertical frame
               - Mulch as weather gets warm
Weeks from seed to harvest - 10
Yield - 6 weeks
Harvesting - (Carefully with 2 hands) pick or cut pods off their stems.  We'll surely eat them right in the garden!
If we find any brown overripe peas, which I doubt, we'll throw them into the compost pile.  Or else it will cause the vine to stop producing which we definately don't want!
Problems - wood ashes around the base of vines help control aphids.
Seed Storage - 3-4 years from packet or *Leave the pea pods on the plant until they turn brown and dry for 2-4 weeks then put them in the freezer for a couple of days, to kill any weevils that may have gotten inside, before putting them away for the year. To do that, they need to be very dry. Put seeds in the jar after drying, tightly seal it, then put in the freezer. After removing from the freezer, don't open until the seeds have had plenty of time to return to room temps (to prevent condensation).

End of Season - Plow under or put in compost pile.

* How do you store the seeds from your harvest?  I wouldn't want to put a big jar in the freezer with only a little bit of seeds in.  I'm thinking maybe in a small ziplock bag but that might end up with lots of ice crystals in it.  Or perhaps an homemade paper envelope with other seeds in envelopes in the jar would work better (since they would be like the seed packets)?
* I've read in a couple of places to mix presoaked seeds with legume inoculant powder for an added boost or a larger crop but I'm not sure if the inoculant powder is organic. Does anyone know?  I probably won't do it since I've never done it before and it seems to turn out fine.
* Any tips?  I've heard that you can spray old dishwater on corn to prevent bugs instead of spraying?  Anything in particular you've done that works for peas?
* Am I missing anything?

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday.


  1. I'm starting a big garden this year too. This Saturday is the day we are preparing the ground. Sugar snap peas are on my list of things to grow also.
    I am taking a (free) online gardening class that has helped me learn a lot. Here's the link: http://ce.byu.edu/is/site/courses/free.cfm

  2. Chanelle,

    Thanks for the link. I'll be checking that out.