Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sweet Peas Time and Turkey Time

Some years I remember, some I don't, but October and November are the months to plant your sweet peas to bloom in spring of 2014.  It is an investment of time now that you will be happy about later.  Some places that get very cold during winter would be best to be planted in early spring.  But here in Northern California, if we wait too long in early spring, then it starts getting too hot for them to bloom in June.
Cultivated sweet peas go back at least 300 years. In their native Sicily, these ornamental peas originally had weak stems and intense orange-jasmine-honey scent. Modern hybrids are stronger-stalked and have larger blooms.
Planting
  •   Sweet peas are happiest with their heads in the sun and their roots deep in cool, moist soil. When possible, plant low-growing annuals in front of them to shade their roots.
  • Choose a well-drained site. Alkaline soil is best; sprinkle some powdered lime on the surface if your soil tends to be acidic.
  • Prepare a rich soil by mixing in generous amounts of compost and well-rotted manure mixed to a depth of 2 feet.
  • Prior to planting, you're going to want to dig a nice deep trench of about 4 inches in depth.
  • After you dig the trench, make holes with a pencil, drop in the seeds, and press down on the soil to firm it and shut out any light.
  • Before planting, soak the seeds in water for 24 hours. This helps getting them germinated right away.
    Support

Sweet peas need support similar to climbing beans or snow peas.  Each year I let my creative side go to town and plant them in different spots that may compliment something else growing, such as in between carrots and beets or next to beans.  I sometimes use bamboo poles in a tepee style; last year I did a row and used the nylon netting and that worked well.  This year my plan is to grow lots more so I have them available to possibly sell from our farm.  So my spot is a long row next to my greenhouse with a possible arch over to another row.  If my idea works, I will be able to walk through an arbor of sweet peas-heavenly scents!!!

I love Thanksgiving.  Mainly because it brings everyone together to spend some real quality time together, either all in the kitchen helping with the food, or even on the couch watching sports. Memories are made for the kids to remember when they are adults about the traditional family foods prepared; funny stories being told; seeing relatives you only see a few times a year; tons of foods you normally don't eat; decorations on a table in the dining room; having people over that would normally be alone on Thanksgiving.
Enjoy your day and we will be back after Thanksgiving. 
Oh-our wreath class is full, but am adding people to waiting list in case someone cancels.  I will have lots of photos and stories to tell on the next post about the fun filled class.


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