Finally those lush vines are producing bucketsful of edible peas and vasesful of fragrant posies. This feels like the real beginning of yumminess and beauty for the coming summer. And the promise of fruits to come are blossoms on fruit trees and even a couple on boysenberry vines.
My husband prefers peas that he has to play with – the ones that he has to shell and is rewarded with the morsels inside. For him, I grow whichever I can find of these varieties - Burpeeana Early, Cascadia, Green Arrow, Little Marvel, Mr. Bit, Progress #9, Sabre, and Thomas Laxton.
I, on the other hand, want my peas totally edible – picking and popping directly into my mouth, with lots of crunch and “green” sweetness. I count on Sugar Snap (which need a 7’ trellis) and Sugar Daddy Snap (which need only a 3’ trellis), and Oregon Sugar Pod.
If I were planting now, I’d plant Wando, which is resistant to bolting (going to seed) in the heat.
I love planting my sweet peas at the back of the cages containing the edible peas. They come into bloom about the same time, but last all the way through the edible-pea picking period.
Even though the sweet pea pods are poisonous, there’s no problem distinguishing between them. The flower pods are shorter, skinnier, furry, and grey-green. The edible pod pea pods are longer, broader, more filled-out, shiny-surfaced, and bright green.
After the edible pea harvest is done, you’ll allow the flower pods to continue maturing on the plants until both the foliage and the pods are completely brown and crispy – perhaps another month or two. Then, snip off the pods with clippers to avoid having the pods shattering and scattering their seeds. Of course, this will be somewhat unavoidable, but you’ll enjoy the results when the escapees sprout next fall!
More to Do In The Garden
For more garden tasks to do now, check out both “April” (for what you haven’t managed to do yet), and “May” (for what to consider coming up) on my website under “Monthly Tips”. The direct links = http://www.gardeninginla.net/april.html