Planting sweet peas is a great start off for your home vegetable garden.
Sugar snap peas are unique to me; because I had neither eaten nor grew them before I came to Netherlands.
One day I saw these sweet peas were sold in one of the supermarket during our regular weekly marketing. These are something different and I wanted to taste them. However, the price was pretty high; when I compared it to the rest of the snap beans.
Afterwards, I understood from my mum-in-law that, such a type of vegetable was never in her vegetable shopping list. I was even more curious; so, I bought it for the first time.
Sugar peas is also known as Sugar snap peas and pole beans (Peulen in Dutch). These peas are very sweet; especially the fresh harvests from your own raised bed.
Growing peas is very interesting and fun. If you have a mini greenhouse or a cold frame, you can sprout the pea seeds as early as; in the late winter days.
* When seedling, set sweet pea seeds in one inch (about 2.5 cm) depth of potting soil would be sufficient; as they have shallow roots.
* Sowing in early spring to mid spring direct in the open ground outdoor. If you have plenty of space, set them in rows about 2.5 feet (about 76 cm) apart; one to two inches apart from each other.
You will noticed that I started sprouting in a tray of shallow soil
in a hobby greenhouse; and later transfer them to outdoor raised bed and covered them with some half-cut plastic bottles as cold frames (picture 1-3).
* These creeping vines needed stakes. Set the trellis or bamboo sticks (picture 4) support before you sow your pea seeds. These sweet pea plant is about 3.5 feet (about 100 cm) tall.
* If you are using trellis or wire netting with more gardening space, you will notice that, you can plant more at one time; and the plants could climb higher to reach more than 5 feet (160 cm) in height; and obviously your harvest would be much more.
* These pea vines love a place with weed free, full sun and moist ground. Water pea plants regularly when the weather is dry. If you can provide them a ring (picture 4) to protect them from the underground unwanted cut-worms and the unwelcome slugs; they will grow much faster.
Growing sweet peas is simple; and the sweet pea flower (picture 5&6) is really charming. They are in dark and light purple colours. No matter how small is your garden space, you should never exclude this pea plants from your vegetable list.
Peas are belong to the legumes group. I guess you already knew that, these plants will extract their own favourite plant food from the air. You need to provide only rain water and a good drainage of warm soil; the rest will be taken care by the nature.
These pea plants will grow tall and strong; they were attached with plenty of flowers (picture 7).
When near the end of the growing season, I was happy to watch the little birds playing around with our pea plants and searching around for their favourite insects.
After the birds visits, I discovered that, they had eaten some and destroyed some of the newly grown young pods from these vines. So, they can also be considered as one of the garden pest.
Harvest in late spring (picture 8 to picture 12) to mid summer when the peas in the pods are clearly shown. Normally it will take minimum 60 days from sowing to the first harvest.
If you wish to keep some peas for seeds; you may just leave the pea pods on the plant until the plant is totally dried-up.
Implement a brand new edible gardening idea and occupy your frugal garden with some supper sweet legumes vegetables plants?