Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Pea Experiment, Part 3

The great pea-planting experiment continues. To review, my grandmother always planted peas in late February on Washington's birthday, but advice I read in several garden columns for my area advised planting in January. Another said one could wait as late as March and still do just fine. To find out who is right and who is full of green peas, I decided to experiment. I planted Sugar Snap peas in late January, late February, and again in late March. Each time I soaked the seeds and let them germinate before planting.

Now the seedlings are emerging and the results are starting to come in.

Here are some of the January-planted seedlings:

And here are some of the February-planted seedlings:

Hmm, so far the January planting doesn't seem to be ahead in the least. In fact, many of the February-planted peas seem to have the advantage. Both went through a period of hard frost and late snow. It's been a cold, wet, late spring this year.

I mean, look at this:

This was March 27, for pity's sake. Maybe this would be balmy for Saskatoon in March, but snow this late is pretty rare in the Willamette Valley. Heck, snow at all is rare in the Willamette Valley. Freezing rain and black ice are more our usual style.

The March-planted peas aren't up yet. In a few weeks, we'll see who's ahead and who has fallen behind. Eventually we'll see if there's any difference in harvest dates for the different plantings.

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