Sunday, April 4, 2010

Peas and Potting Up

The weather is still cold here, in the 40s as I type. Still, the peas should have been planted weeks ago and I’ve just procrastinated terribly. I use the old rule to plant when the lilacs’ leaves are as big as mouse ears, although they’re really big mice this year.

Didn’t plant peas last year; the beds weren’t built in time. One of the beds still isn’t completed this year either. We’ll see how soon my digging crew gets it filled – I’m hoping to plant two more varieties in the other bed. Today I planted Oregon Sugar Pod II and Super Sugar Snap. Two long rows down the beds, 18 inches apart, and I’ll set up a trellis a bit later when I need to. Here is what the furrow looked like:

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On top of the peas I sprinkled inoculant. One is supposed to wet down the peas/inoculant, but it’s been raining and rain is forecast, so I just sprinkled the inoculant on the peas and covered the furrow. One of my favorite garden tools is a 24 inch quilt ruler. If I didn’t sew, I’d buy one for gardening because it is helpful in so many ways. Today I used the quilt ruler to measure distance between rows, but then set it on edge to make a furrow one inch down (which was how deep the peas were supposed to be planted).

048I just stick the quilt ruler in and rock it back and forth

Indoors, some of the starts in the Aerogarden were ready to be potted up, so I transplanted them to my super fancy plastic cups and got out the light setup from last year. This was a quick knock-together by The Patriarch and a couple of boys, but it works really well. Those are inexpensive shoplights, a cheap shelf, and the bakery buckets underneath help support the weight. I use big books to get the plants up close to the lights, pulling out books as the plants grow. Each ballast has one warm and one cool light (labeled “kitchen” and “bathroom”).

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I will actually be putting another couple of books under that flat, as the goal is to have the plants remain one inch below the lights so that they won’t get leggy. This flat is just lettuce, and sort of spindly, but they’ll get there. Here is a picture from last year of this setup with tomato plants waiting for their beds to be ready outdoors:

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Next break in the weather, we’ll be filling more boxes. Looks from the forecast like that will be a few days, though, and meanwhile I have more seeds to start indoors and plenty of other projects!

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