At my house my husband prefers snow peas and I prefer the sugar snap peas. Snow peas are the flat podded peas often used in stir fry and must be harvested before they get peas in them for the best flavor. Sugar snap peas are best after the peas have gotten some size on them and are quite juicy and sweet. A wonderful snack in the garden and kids usually love them because they are so sweet and juicy.
What you will need:
- Pea seeds
- Small cookie sheet/jellyroll pan or tray (with sides on it is best so if any peas decide to try to escape they won't roll off onto the floor.)
- Small bowl or drinking glass
- Warm water
- Plastic wrap
- Paper towels
- Water proof marking pen (ball point pen would work fine too)
- Plant tag (Get this done now so you can mark what you planted where...its often too easy to forget otherwise)
- Warm spot like the top of a refrigerator (but not hot)
Take the tray or pan you are using and line it with a paper towel. The more seed you are going to sow the bigger the pan/tray will need to be so keep that in mind. I suppose you could us a cardboard box with low sides like the ones canned food or pop come in but you would have to line the bottom with plastic wrap so it doesn't get all soggy. Whatever you use it needs to be sturdy enough to carry out to the garden once the seeds have sprouted. I also recommend lining aluminum pans with plastic as the aluminum will react to being wet for extended periods of time.
|How I set my aluminum baking sheet up.|
|Hard as rocks pea seeds just put into their water bath for soaking.|
|After 8 hours of soaking no more wrinkles and nicely round.|
Because pea seeds sprout so quickly you want to avoid leaving them in the water for too long or risk drowning the seed. And the reason you want to soak them in the first place is to aid there germination. Soaking just mimics what takes place in nature, only in nature the process is much slower as the soil temperatures are cooler and water can only be taken in from the moist soil surrounding the seed.
|That shriveled one in the middle has got to go!|
The seeds take about 24 to 36 hours to sprout so check them at least once a day until they are sprouted. You need to keep on top of it as far as getting them planted soon after they sprout or they will root right into the paper towels which can be a real mess when it comes to planting time.
|The promise of future produce and encouragement for the heart.|
Aren't these amazing! These seeds were soaked 8 hours and set on the top of my fridge for 36 hours. Now that is instant gratification and encouraging enough for anyone to believe they can grow from seed. Wouldn't you agree?
NOTES: Peas can be sown in late winter (February) for a spring crop and again in summer for a fall harvest. For spring crops its recommended (especially for flowering sweet peas) to amend the soil with steer manure in the fall where you plan on sowing them the next spring. It is also a good idea to treat your seed with an inoculent containing Rhizobium leguminosarum, a bacteria which helps the plants to fix the nitrogen which in turn aids in keeping them healthy and increase production. This also causes the roots of the pea plants to form nitrogen nodules which are beneficial as a fertilizer in the soil.
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