KUSA - Here we go. It's time to do some real planting. St. Patrick's Day is the traditional time to plant peas. There's just a small window of opportunity (about two weeks) to do so, since they must develop during cool weather. They loathe summer heat. The window for potatoes is a bit wider, but certainly plant them by the middle of April.
Peas are relatively easy to grow in the ground or in pots. Some varieties grow as tall as five feet; others are less than a foot. Know what you're planting and provide support for the tendrils to cling to at planting time. If you plant seeds, soak them overnight. Mix an innoculent into the soil; this helps the plants access nitrogen.
Potatoes should be grown in a trench or a patio container. Whichever venue you select, plant the "eyes" a foot deep or so and cover them with a few inches of soil. Keep covering the plant with soil a few inches at a time as it grows.
The eyes are the area on the potato where a new sprout emerges. You've probably sprouted them accidentally in the cupboard. Cut the potatoes into pieces for as many eyes as there are. Convenient "grow bag" kits help take the guesswork out of growing potatoes.
Peas will mature in late May or early June. "New" potatoes may be dug as early as mid June but they may continue to be harvested throughout the growing season.
The window is also open to plant other cool season crops, mainly leafy greens such as spinach, lettuce, arugula, chard, kale and mustard greens, as well as onions, leeks, cauliflower, beets, carrots, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli.
Plants are courtesy of Tagawa Gardens.
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