Dateline: 14 March 2016
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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...
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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.