While most of our garden is still in full bloom, some things have already came and gone.
The spinach was the first to bolt before we even got a chance to try them! It was my first harsh lesson of the garden: when you think it is ready – it is probably ready. I was away at a conference and Andrew thought it would be okay until I got back, but it wasn’t. Oh-well. They say “you win some, you lose some”, and with our spinach losing, it was only fair that something next would succeed, and it was our peas.
With the loss of my iPod the only pictures we have of the spinach are of them as tiny seedlings. Next time we will make sure to eat them when they are ready and not wait. The seeds we got were part of a bulk order through our community garden. Our spinach was American Spinach, and from a single leaf that I did end up eating straight off of the plant, it was pretty good.
Since Andrew is not a fan of snap peas, we decided to go with a sugar pea that we could put into stir-frys and other dishes. As a part of the bulk seed order we got Dwarf Gray Sugar Peas, and they certainly produced!
Peas from the very beginning:
In full bloom:
They grew so tall and so thick that they quickly outgrew our 3 foot trellis and then began to droop and fall over with the weight of the vegetables. We ended up staking them on the outside and using twine to keep them upright (you can see the stakes and twine in the photo above).
Some things I would do differently:
-Thin them out a bit more. I think that we may have had just a few too many plants growing on the trellis and that they may have held up a little better if they hadn’t been so close and clung to each other so much.
-Higher trellis. The instructions for the seeds said they didn’t need trellising, but I did it anyway. I am not sure if it would have been better or worse without, but I do know that if I were to trellis them again, I would definitely go with at least a 4 or 5 foot trellis.
-Pick more often! We definitely got a lot of peas out of them, but there was a period of time when we should have been picking everyday. Once the pods were on the vine too long the peas would get pretty large inside the pods and they weren’t as good to eat.
After we just stopped picking them, the whole plant died (which we expected – photo above). It has been about a month or so since we let them die, and now I have been collecting the seeds from the dried out pea pods to plant again and get a fall crop. However, as we were about to pull out the old trellis and clear out that bed to prepare it for the next cycle, Andrew discovered a birds nest with two little light blue eggs in it. Looks like the trellis and the dead peas will have to stick around until the little birdies leave the nest. I will post again about our little birdie friends.