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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mind Your Peas and Q's

Nothing is better than biting into a crunchy, fresh, sugar snap pea. Peas are one of my favorite plants. I love how they reach out with their vines and tendrils to grow up as high as they can. I also love their pretty blossoms when they first come out.

This year Marisa and I wanted to plant more vegetables than we usually do so we tried to figure out some space saving techniques for our vegetables. We planted our peas along one side of our garden. We placed 3 foot high stakes about 6 feet apart and then we tied twine from stake to stake at about 6 inch intervals. Then, as the peas grew we weaved them through the rope.

This method used very little space and seemed to work really well. We enjoyed a good harvest of peas this spring and we ate our peas by themselves as a snack, in salads, and even in stir fries.

It is always good to rotate your crops from year to year so next year we will plant our peas in a different area. Peas add nitrogen to the soil as they grow so it is a good idea to rotate corn into the space where you grow your peas as corn takes a lot of nitrogen out to the soil.

What space saving techniques do you recommend for backyard farmers?


~Michael

3 comments:

Holly Reed | Reed Photographic said...

Interplanting is another way to save space. For example, corn takes a long time to grow big, but lettuch can benefit from the light shade it provides - and lettuce (especially baby greens) can be a harvested and gone by the time corn fills the area. This is what I've read anyway - I'm not an expert but I want to try this next year.

Em said...

I wonder if you could interplant corn with peas? The corn could support the peas, and give them just enough shade to help them last into the summer instead of being just a spring crop - maybe? I wonder if that would work?

dmax said...

I'm an avid disciple of Mel Bartholomew and his Square Foot Gardening.

Simple, logical, and highly productive in small spaces. Recommended.