Monthly Archives: April 2012

Sugar Snap Peas, a new approach (for me, anyway!)

I planted 18 sugar snap peas almost a month ago, and only two germinated. Here they are:

non-innoculated sugar snap peas

(Note that all the photos are clickable to larger versions.)

I did a little reading, and learned that legumes benefit from being “innoculated” with a special garden soil mix of bacteria. I found this one at Walter Anderson nursery:

Dr. Earth Soil Innoculant

I first soaked the peas in water for 24 hours and drained them. While wet, I sprinkled about a third of this half-ounce package of Dr. Earth SuperActive Biological Soil Innoculant over the peas and stirred gently. The innoculant combined with the water into a syrupy black coating for the peas. I then planted up two Grow-Boxes of 18-20 plants each. I planted a few in a beet Grow-Box, too, since the beets are almost done. Just for comparison with future photos, here’s one Grow-Box, freshly planted. (Yep, no plants here at all. Like I said, I include it here just as a baseline for comparison with future photos of this box. Here’s hoping I get a real forest of sugar snap peas before the weather turns hot!

Just-planted sugar snap pea Grow-Box

Scotch dwarf blue kale harvest

Tonight, after the sun had been down for four hours and all the “field heat” had chilled off my garden, I did my first snip-harvest of curly Scotch dwarf blue kale. The plants looked like this, post-harvest:


And the harvest in the basket was pretty, too:


Lacinato Kale harvest

Today, I harvested my first kale of the spring. You may recall that I started a few items, including the kale, from seed, on January 29. About 65 days later, I snip-harvest about one and a half pounds of lacinato kale, also known as dinosaur kale.

Here’s how the plants looked after I snipped the outside leaves:


Part of the reason I harvested was that, since these plants are in containers and I want the most production from each container, the plants are close together. When they get big, they can shade other plants. Periodic snip-harvesting the largest outside leaves solves this problem. It also gives us some great food, plus the plants get to concentrate their growth energy into the small remaining leaves. Win-win-win!

Here is tonight’s haul, including both lacinato kale and Scotch dwarf blue kale, a curly variety.


Loved the Brussel sprouts

No photo here, just a report that Jan served up the Brussels sprouts I harvest last week. Very tasty, but too few. I’ll try to get another crop in before the weather gets too warm.