There’s nothing like the forecast of a winter storm to motivate me to dig in the dirt. I’ve been putting off planting the peas for about three weeks now. But yesterday, when the weather forecaster boldly stated that our valley had a 100% chance of snow for Sunday, I knew the time had come to clear out a space for the peas.
I was amazed at the variety of life I found under the dried weeds and leaves. The primrose plants were almost full size, and daffodil sprouts were popping up everywhere. I also disturbed a spider and a few dozen earthworms with my incessant digging.
Finally, after about two hours and an odd assortment of sore muscles, the ground was soft enough to plant the peas. There is a wide range of opinions about pre-soaking hard seeds. Since I’m only a theoretical farmer, I decided to take the advice of a seasoned soil tiller and immerse the dried up little seeds in a bowl of warm water. By the time I had cleared the bed, the peas were plump and moist.
Perhaps it’s a common flaw of humanity not to read instructions before attempting projects. Although I am not a professional gardener, I was pretty sure that I could handle poking a bowlful of peas into the ground without help. A rather arrogant assumption, I was to discover. After the peas had been planted and lightly covered with an inch of soil, I happened to glance at the seed packet. The directions said: “Plant seeds 3 to 4 inches apart; space rows 2 feet apart. I glanced sadly at my little raised bed of peas. The seeds were probably spaced about 3 inches apart, but alas, my rows were also 3 to 4 inches apart!
Oh well, guess I will have a massive thinning once the plants start to sprout. Perhaps I’ll take a bit more time to read directions before I attempt to plant the rest of my garden. But I don’t suppose I’ll be planting for a while. The ground is still cold and the weatherman says another 6 to 8 inches of snow is headed our way this evening. In the meantime, snuggle closely little peapods and try to stay warm!
Photo: Fotolia/Norman Chan