Pea Seeding
Garden Beds In March

Dateline: 14 March 2016

(click picture for larger view)

Peas should be planted first thing in the spring, as soon as the soil can be worked. I got around to it yesterday. The soil in my raised garden beds was just right.

Laxton's Progress is a shell pea. Here's the description from High Mowing Seeds:

Short vines and plump pods filled with high quality peas. Small 15-20" plants produce heavy yields of large pods with up to nine peas per pod (hence the name). An improvement over the original Laxton's Progress with a high resistance to wilt. Compact plants. 4-5" pods.

There are different recommendations for spacing of pea seeds in the row. I think Johnny's Seeds has reliable instructions...

Sow 1-1 1/2" apart in a 3" band (25 seeds/ft.), 1/2-1" deep. Do not thin. Varieties under 3' tall can be sown without support in rows 12"-18" apart.

I decided to plant two rows, 3" apart, with the seeds spaced 1" apart. That's 24 seeds to the foot, and that's what is shown in the picture above. I put two of these double rows down the length of my 30" wide beds.

I got it in my head that I should try making a 1" pea spacing template for this seeding. A scrap of pine board and about 10 minutes of work rendered this pea seed spacer ...

The pea seed spacing template worked to my satisfaction. I'll save it to use again  next year.


I have planted these peas in the same garden beds I showed how to make last year in This Blog Post. And I also wrote here last year about a new idea I had for securing fabric ground cover as a mulch between the beds (Click Here For Details). That idea has worked very well for me and I will continue using it. 

The picture below shows what my garden beds (the same ones in last years' essays) look like now in the early spring...

(click picture to see a larger view)

The two beds in the right of the picture have been planted with the Laxton's Progress #9 peas. The bed with the thin black plastic mulch and holes is where I grew Four-Day Carrots last year. I harvested those carrots late in the year and put them in a Leaf-Bag Clamp outside the back door of my house. We still have good carrots in the clamp here in March, but there are not many left. That bed was planted yesterday to Bloomsdale Long Standing spinach...

In the above picture you can see the previous Four-Day carrot bed all ready for planting spinach. I sprinkled some kelp meal on the surface of the bed, hoed it in, and shaped the bed with a lawn rake. 

You'll notice that the leaves between the rows are missing. They are now under the strip of walkway fabric-mulch. I unclipped the fabric and flipped it over. There were plenty of worms under the walkway cover. They will appreciate the leaves.

The bed in the upper left hand corner was planted with triticale seed last fall as a green manure. It didn't get very well established before winter. It should start growing as the weather warms up. 

This system of beds, fabric ground cover, and plastic mulch is working very well for me. I intend to make more beds just like these in my garden space this year.


Pam Baker said...

Hmmmm....very interesting.
I recently, like two years ago, fell head over heels for split pea and ham soup. Made it for my mother and taste tested it and promptly ate myself sick. Couldn't stop eating it.
Before that, I would only eat canned Le Seuer, young, early peas on the order of two to three times a year. Big fat starchy peas disgust me...much like lima beans.
But now I want to grow field peas to make soup. Your post made me go hunting for info about baby peas and Le Sueur and I came across this article which I thought you and/or your readers might find interesting.
So, what do you do with the pods? I would assume that either compost or chickens would be the obvious answer, but wonder if you or your readers had other experiences?
I love snow peas but would love to can my own baby peas. Maybe next year....

Herrick Kimball said...


Good article! This quote sums it up...

"Small peas, whether the French variety called petits pois or regular garden peas gathered when they are babies, are best. But even regular garden peas that go directly from the vine to the pot, like sweet corn on the cob, can surprise with their luscious sweetness."

I've never heard of petits pois peas. Will have to find some seed and try it. I also grow the sugar snap and snow peas but on a trellis. Fresh peas are something special, especially when cooked with new potatoes.

Herrick Kimball said...

FEDCO has petits pois seed. I bought some. Thanks for the idea, Pam.

vdeal said...

Herrick, in regards to holding your plastic mulch in place you mentioned a few posts ago that you were working on a new method that didn't require so many clothespins. Any update on that?

Sheila Gilbert said...

LOL I just ordered from them too! Thank you Pam! I'm really looking forward to giving them a try. I'm finally building all new beds on my property this year, and I can hardly wait to dig in. I prepared the ground a couple years ago, and it's going to be great to finally see how it works out. I did the same here at my rental home, and the ground is super soft now. I can put my hand right down into the soil now. I used hay, piled high on the grounds, right over the grass, and will use straw for a ground cover when everything is planted. After that, I will use fine wood chips as a covering. If I can get them soon enough, I will use them this year too. I am going to try to grow carrot like you did this year. I especially liked how you stored them. Your method of growing them is much better to me than a row of "all over the place" veggies. Carrots can go everywhere when I plant them, so I think trying your method will help a lot. It's so good to see you gardening again, it's very encouraging. Bless, Sheila

James Johnson said...

Elizabeth L Johnson said,
Watched several of your videos yesterday. Do you fertilize your beds between planting different crops? You said at one point you do not disturb the beds under the plastic. Am glad you made it quite clear you do not water carrots again after first initial deep watering at sowing. Same practice with all crops? (Drought accepted.) About to sow carrot seed, first sowing, after soaking them. I didn't catch your succession period. One week, or two? I enjoy the music in the videos as much as the info. Really like the idea of leaf bag cloche. Our temps here in winter are rarely below 40. Doubt it would work for here. Hoping to get a root cellar dug below ten feet under the surface, in order to reach the ideal for storing: temps in the forties.

James Johnson said...

Elizabeth L. Johnson said,
Oh, I see where I missed your answer to my question about fertilizing. Now I know. Thanks!