Sunday, March 15th, 2009...12:10 am

Garden Peas and Sweet Peas

The Ides of March, March 15th, and St. Patrick’s Day are old time farmers method of knowing when to plant peas and sweet peas, the flower- at least those farmers on the North, Northeast and Mid Atlantic sections of the US. Of course, if the soil is workable, peas and sweet peas could be planted
even earlier. TheGardenLady has heard of New England farmers planting
the seeds even when the snow is still on the ground. Peas are frost hardy and love cool weather. They can grow wherever there is a long enough cool season- about 55 to 80 days. Peas need cool temperature to grow and produce. Peas like full sun in cooler temperatures or can grow in partial shade, but the flavor won’t be as good in the shade.

If you can raise your own peas, you will be rewarded with one of the most delicious vegetable. And the more one harvests, the more peas are produced on the plant. Peas taste best that are fresh out of the garden; the longer they are off the vine, the more they lose their sweetness. They are so delicious, lots of people like to eat them raw when they are picking them in the garden. And cooking fresh peas takes only a very brief time.

Sweet peas are delightfully charming, mostly fragrant flowers that can be planted at the same time as peas. They will bloom in the late spring and if the area is cool enough, can continue blooming into the fall. They also prefer full sun but will tolerate partial shade.

Sweet peas flowers should be pinched out when they are dying on the plant to encourage more flowering. Sweet peas flowers and seeds are NOT edible. They are poisonous.

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