When to plant peas (Pacific Northwest)
Apparently, peas can be planted as early as mid-January where I’m at here in the Pacific Northwest (I’m in the Willamette Valley.) They don’t always work out at that time of year, but it’s worth a try if you can have fresh peas in the winter time! You can technically keep them going into July if you move them to a shady area, too.
That’s a lot of peas! Click here for some pea recipes!
Next year I’m going to start the first batch in mid-January, and then just keep sticking more in the same spot in the ground every 2-3 weeks so that I can keep a supply of them going for awhile. When it’s time for the tomatoes, I’m going to cut the peas down to the ground (but not pull them up: see “Peas are great for companion and succession planting” below.)
If I still want peas, I can start them in a shadier area at that time, but I don’t know if I’ll worry about that next year. I think I’ll start focusing my efforts on the next batch of vegetables to go in. The most important vegetables in my garden are tomatoes (I know, they’re a fruit!), cucumber, and zucchini.
Peas are great for companion and succession planting
Peas prepare the soil for other vegetables
Peas are “nitrogen-fixing plants.” They will actually bring nitrogen into your soil, which is vital to plant growth. Some plants are especially heavy-feeders when it comes to nitrogen, such as tomatoes, cabbage, cucumber, and roses. This is why I’ll be cutting off my peas this year rather than pulling them out by the roots. The cut-off parts will get buried into the compost pile.
Peas make good companions for these plants
Cucumbers, beans, most herbs, radish, corn, carrots, and lettuce are said to grow well with peas. I have read in quite a few places that onions should not be grown with peas, but I first came across a website that actually recommended it and so I planted mine together. As with many things, it seems that gardeners are all saying different things. Many say that they have always grown peas and onions together without trouble. We will see what happens with mine.
My new raised bed
Look what my dad made for me. This is special because it is made out of a Redwood tree that my grandpa planted years ago. Do you know how special it would be for my grandpa to know that his son would make a raised bed for his granddaughter, who would then feed his great-grandchildren out of the tree he planted?
I love it! My dad was a little shy about my sharing it, because he is really amazing at woodworking, and this is a bit more rustic than his normal work, but I love rustic, and I love this bed. See that lip that goes around it? I can plant my butt while I’m planting plants!
Here he is inside the bed he made me with all four of my kids. Although I was very excited to get things planted in this bed, I am a little bit sad to have given up the coolest playpen. You can drive tractors and cars on the edge, but the littlest ones couldn’t get out of it. It’s nice to have them contained until we finish the fence and make the yard a little more baby-friendly.
Here’s the Bed as of early March (change is already in progress)
What’s in it…
I used 50-50 soil from our local Recology facility and topped it with some mushroom compost and chicken poo compost. Yum!
I planted pea pods and sugar peas. The sugar peas are on the right, with the decorative, store-bought trellis. The pods are on the left, with the side of an old crib that I sprayed with leftover chalkboard paint. This will all be changing soon as my husband and I started building some better trellises today (3/23/18). We don’t know what we’re doing yet, but we think they will be better than this setup. The crib side keeps falling over, and the decorative trellis will be lovely in the flower bed.
I’ve planted some regular onion seeds on the left, the side that I think will get the most shade. On the right, I’ve planted some green onion on either side of the trellis. I would like to know what type of beneficial flower might go well in this bed.
Another bed will go next to this one. For now, it’s just a stack of landscaping bricks that were left behind by the previous owner. Next year I plan to make things a little more uniform, and things should start getting much prettier by then.
What should I make with all of those peas?
Check out my collection of recipes for using all those peas!
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