My spring garden is woefully off-schedule. Planting peas in January is usually an option, but if soil or weather conditions preclude an early planting then peas in my garden should be planted by mid-February, President’s day being a convenient marker. When the peas succumb to late spring heat the bed is free for peppers and eggplant. Those delicate prima donnas cannot be set out until night temperatures have warmed considerably, usually in late May.
Conditions in the garden this year are decidedly inhospitable to any direct sowing. The soil is waterlogged and cold. I have abandoned my plans for planting bush peas, usually the staple of my spring pea crop. By the time the soil is dry enough to work the planting window will have closed. Instead I have planted Sugar Snap peas in the greenhouse and will set out seedlings when (not if, ever the optimist) when more temperate weather arrives.
I have always direct seeded peas. Last year I pre-sprouted, trying to get around the low germination that comes with cold wet soil. But I have never set out seedlings. Peas starts are always part of the spring vegetable line-up at nurseries so transplanting must be an option. Given this year’s weather constraints I’ll give it a try. Since Sugar Snaps grow on a trellis I will only need to prepare a small area of soil at the base. This area is slightly raised, presumably better drained than the other beds and the trellis serves for cucumbers later in the year.
Gardeners are nothing if not adaptable and optimistic. The vagaries of weather may dictate what we can’t do, but we simply pull on our boots, step out in the mud or slush and do whatever we can do. I am so looking forward to sweet Sugar Snaps (on the veranda, sitting in dappled sun, with a glass of sparkling wine). ;) Here’s to winter dreams!