Friday, March 30, 2012

Growing Tips ~ planting peas, weed barriers and other stuff

Peas can be planted in early spring, even before the last frost. In fact, they prefer cooler temperatures. You can sow the seeds directly in the ground or start them early and plant seedlings. This year I chose to do both to hedge my bets for a good crop. I started seeds about 3 weeks ago and planted them in the garden today, along with seeds just in case they don't make it for some reason. I know they won't go to waste.

Whether you're starting them in potting mix or in the ground, follow the package instructions for depth, which is usually 2-3 times their width. I usually press them down about 3/4" and cover them up with potting mix/soil. Keep the soil moist until the seeds germinate.

If planting seedlings, just bring the soil to the same level as the planting mix and water well.
Peas require support of some kind for the tendrils to grab hold of. I use old fencing with bamboo stakes to hold it up. You can use tomato cages or even sturdy tree branches.
I also put down a weed barrier between the garden beds today. This "straw" came from my ornamental grasses that I trimmed yesterday. One the clippings mat down, they smother any weeds beneath them and they are great for preventing weeds seeds from sprouting.

It's already time for asparagus. This is just the right size to harvest. It's best done with a sharp knife and cut about 1 inch from the ground.
I just transplanted these asparagus and strawberries into this bed last year, so I'll harvest from the bigger plants, but I'll let the smaller ones go this year to let the plants become well-established first.

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