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With St. Patrick's Day near, time to plant peas and potatoes

St. Patrick's Day is the traditional time to plant peas and potatoes, although any time in March is fine.

DENVER — St. Patrick's Day is the traditional date to start planting cool season plants, especially peas.

Soak the peas overnight so they plump up. Plant them about an inch deep and two inches apart. Provide support such as bamboo stakes for the tendrils to cling to. You can't wait until May to plant peas. They hate hot weather and won't develop properly.

Other cool season vegetables that can be sown now include lettuce, spinach, kale, chard, beets, radishes, carrots, cabbage and cauliflower. These plants will germinate and grow despite continued cold nights and possible snow. 

You may wish to amend the soil before planting. Add composted manure and work it in with a rake or hoe. 

Form a furrow with a hand hoe using a board to ensure it's straight. Most of the seeds should go about a half inch deep; follow instructions on the seed packet. 

Cover the seeds and firm them in with your knuckles. Keep the beds moist but be careful when watering so that you don't wash the seeds away. 

Peas, spinach, lettuce and radishes can also be grown successfully in pots on a sunny patio or balcony. 

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