Thursday, 6 June 2013

WHY PEAS ARE EASY PEASY! (And a great addition to any garden!)


When Kids ask me what my favorite vegetable to grow is, my immediate thought is always "PEAS!" Why? Because Peas are amazing in a variety of different ways.


#1: PEAS are EASY PEASY!

 Peas often have excellent germination rates, and will grow in many different soil types. (Remember in grade 1 when you planted peas in a cup with just a damp cloth? Yeah, that's because peas are amazing. WHAT A WILL TO LIVVVE!)

Also, Peas don't necessarily have to be planted meticulously in rows. You can break up a patch of soil, toss the pea seeds helter-skelter (known as "broadcasting), cover them over with soil, and then trellis them with layers of string in an also not-precise way once they all start popping up (see pictures below).

#2: PEAS ARE ONE OF THE FIRST CROPS YOU PLANT IN THE SPRING

Peas are cold-tolerant, in fact, they even prefer cooler temperatures, making them one of the first crops you plant out doors, around mid-April for Ontario climates. They can, however, be continuously grown throughout the entire year, though you might want to put them in an area of partial shade during the summer months, and certainly you can plant them again in the fall! PEAS ALL THE TIME ALWAYS.

#3: PEAS ARE NITROGEN FIXERS

Peas are part of the "legume" family, along with beans, clover, and chickweed. This family is very important for helping to fix nitrogen into the soil. How do they do it? They basically suck nitrogen out of the air and fix it into their roots. All plants really like nitrogen, so peas are again a great crop to start off your growing season, because you can plant peas in the spring, harvest them, then chop and break up the remaining plant stems and roots into your soil and plant something else in the same bed, now with added nitrogen! Yay!

#4: PEAS ARE FUN TO WATCH AS THEY GROW!

I often say to my students that Peas are like little Ninja Turtle plants. They have three fingers that reach out and grab on to things and literally pull themselves up out of the ground, which is a pretty amazing process to watch. Also, their little leaves fall open like butterfly wings, which also again is  pretttty beautiful to behold.

ALL AROUND PEAS ARE JUST SO GREAT! See Below photos for peas-in-process at the Polanyi Garden:






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