The first time I planted peas I hadn’t the vaguest idea how many I needed in order to harvest enough for one helping! I sowed four plants and waited patiently. The excitement began as first the blossoms and then the peas began to appear. I soon learned that I needed more plants…. many more plants.
So, this time I planted lots of peas… a plethora of them to be exact. With more than sixty plants I can get an entire serving just picking the ones that are ready to shell. However, the second mistake I made was starting too late. In my growing zone, 9B, earlier is better than later. Peas like it cool and unfortunately our heat came a bit early this year.
Peas come in many varieties and as most of us know you need to choose the kind that suits your particular zone. Having done that, I didn’t anticipate three-digit weather in April. It’s easier to protect from frost than from heat. So out came the shade cloth and so far, with lots of water, it’s doing the job intended.
Note to self: Plant earlier next year!
Tom Thumb Peas, a dwarf variety and the ones I chose to plant this season, were introduced in the United States in the 1850’s. However, the first dwarf varieties appeared in the late 1600’s with peas being one of the oldest cultivated vegetables. These plants don’t need staking, grow about 6 to 8 inches tall and are hardy down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. They produce plenty of peas in a pocket-sized space including containers.
So, dear readers, I end this blog with a poem.
A plethora of peas is what it takes
And dwarf ones never need be staked.
A lot of peas in a peewee space
Abundantly your plate will grace.