Monday, May 1, 2017

Almost peas

We've got pea seed soaking, and pea brush and pea fences erected... but no peas in the ground yet.

We're tired. C. isn't feeling great, and must be tired from dealing with the alpaca, vet and gravedigger events. We'll get it done.

One of the hard parts is deciding where to put things. No, we do not have a spreadsheet for every gardening year, with planting and harvest dates noted. Silly. We're artists. We're spontaneous, man. 

We rotate crops in the beds, so we can't just put beans where beans were last year. So we wander around, poking at the ground and peering in all directions, and C. says, "Let's put short peas here, all along the edge of the bed." OK. So I rummage up some light-duty posts and start pounding them in. Wait. There's a path on the front side of the row of future peas, but no access to the back side, and we plant peas on both sides of the fence. Spuds are in the bed below, and we didn't leave a path there, since spuds don't need much attention. Huh. So we need another spot for short peas. Back to wandering and staring.

We did decide to plant tall sunflowers in an 'L' shape along the west and north sides of a 12x12-foot bed. Corn will go in the middle, and short peas in the front, on the south and east sides. So I put up a short fence for the peas there. 

We have four different kinds of peas to plant – Sugar Heart, Sugar Magnolia and Cascade snap peas, and Lincoln shell peas. I admire the efficiency and practicality of a snap pea in theory (no shelling, just eat it, pod and all), but would rather just eat the pea part, thank you. Pods, while vaguely pea-flavored, are not peas. C. likes the snap peas, and the dogs eat lots of them over the winter. One of our pea varieties needs a 7-foot support, one a 4-foot, and the others 30 inches. And we need to put them where they won't shade other crops. See – it's not as easy as you thought!

I laid some drip hose and we mulched a bed of potatoes with a couple of inches of bedding from A.'s duck house. Will need to haul over some straw from the barn to go on top. 

It's grey and dreary outside, but should be warmer and sunnier over the week.

The tomato seedlings on the window sill are getting big – 8 inches tall, some of them. It's about time to repot them and send them to the greenhouse, but it's too cold at night right now.

I kicked the broody hens out of their nest boxes twice today, and will move them again to the roosts when it gets dark. They don't see well in the dark, and won't be able to get back in the boxes. They're deep in the broody thing, with the far-off gaze and puffed-up feathers. I'm trying to snap them out of it, without being too mean. 

Five eggs today.

1 comment:

  1. Apparently you can plunge the undercarriage (plus bottom) of a broody hen into a bucket of cold water, leave for a minute or so, then release the hen to go on her way. This is supposed to cool the hen's hot bottom and reduce her broodiness. We have never tried this, though!