My grandmother used to plant peas on Washington's birthday. Never one to argue with Grandma, I stopped by Nichols Garden Nursery on the way home yesterday and picked up a quarter pound of shelling pea seeds, a variety called Big Boy. I've not tried it before. I like French petit pois, but they had none, and I thought I'd try something new. They also had seeds for snow peas and the relatively new snap peas, the ones that are eaten pod and all, but unlike snow peas, are eaten when the peas themselves are fully developed. Thus one gets more food per planting than with any other kind of pea. I'm still thinking about them. I don't want to buy a whole quarter pound of seeds just to try them, but I may order a packet from Territorial Seed Company when I fill out my order this weekend.
Today I dug a trench along the asparagus bed by the driveway, where the morning sun warms the asphalt and the soil next to it. I'd soaked the seeds overnight, and this morning I stirred them up with a big spoonful of pea inoculant. After loosening the soil, I planted the peas a bit thickly along the trench and covered them up. In all, I planted perhaps fifteen feet of peas. Now -- will they pop up and get growing before the squirrels and crows find them?
After than I pruned the peach tree, which should be old enough to bear fruit this year, and the Montmorency cherry. I still need to spray them with fungicide. In this climate, even with curl resistant peaches, a bit of copper and sulfur throughout the spring is a must.
The strawberry bed did poorly last summer, so I took some time while I was out to dig it up and yank out the nasty white roots of the quack grass that invaded the bed. I left it rough-dug for the rains and worms to work on a bit while I order the plants. Territorial has the reliable Tristar that I've planted before, but I may go with a new variety this year, something called Seascape that promises to be virus-resistant and extremely tasty.
It was when I reached the end of the strawberries, digging carefully around the blueberries as I went, that I struck gold. Yukon gold, to be specific. The strawberry bed butts up against the potato patch, and some sneakers had moved into the strawberry bed. I kept going through the potato patch and found about two quarts of Yukon gold and German fingerling potatoes. Guess what we're having for dinner tonight?