AUTHOR: Julia TITLE: Co-Strangulation DATE: 7/15/2009 12:52:00 PM ----- BODY:
When I began planning my garden for the season, I envisioned spring peas climbing up a little garden fence I posted in the back of the plot. I would start the cucumbers in early May, 6 inches away from the pea vines, and by the time the cucumber plants reached a substantial size, the peas would be over, and the cucumbers would begin to train up the same fence.
See how the cucumber tendrils wrap around the fencing? The pea tendrils do the same thing. The challenge, of course, is to constantly adjust the plants so that the tendrils clench on to what you want, and not onto other plants, strangling the leaves and potentially killing other plants.

In my case, the tendrils of the cucumbers and peas got into a wrangle. I don't know how else to describe it, but co-strangulation.

The peas came out of the garden today. Honestly, I think this is the last year I'll grow peas. When I decided to plant them, I thought the young leaves would be a lovely addition to my spring mesclun mix. As the vines matured, I would have the snap peas. The leaves (tendrils) were too tough and the most peas I was able to harvest in a 3 day period fit into the palm of my hand.


----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types DATE:7/15/2009 02:28:00 PM It's fun to watch the story of your garden unfold, and I think you have an option to create a whole new gardening glossary! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) DATE:7/15/2009 04:36:00 PM Gosh, it's a battleground back there in the garden! Who knew??? ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Karen DATE:7/15/2009 08:52:00 PM I've given up on peas, too. They're supposed to be a spring vegetable, but it was always June before they really started to produce. I was never able to get them out of the plot before it was time to plant the tomatoes. Then last year, something happened and the peas never really grew - I think I have a nematode problem, because the same bed is performing poorly this year, too.

One trick I tried that was moderately successful was to plant peas in a teepee formation, around bamboo poles. I put a tomato seedling in the middle - the idea was that the peas would feed the tomato, and by the time that the peas were done, the tomato would grow enough that the bamboo poles could provide support. Once I get rid of the nematodes I might try that again.

I did get my fresh pea fix from our CSA the last couple of weeks - both sugar snaps and English shell peas. Yum!! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Reeniā™„ DATE:7/15/2009 08:54:00 PM This happened to me last summer - this year I planted edamame instead. They are doing terrible - they've barely grown at all. I do love the pea tendrils, though, the curlicues and the way they wind around things, their kind of pretty. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Julia DATE:7/16/2009 07:16:00 AM T.W. Hopefully soon, I'll also have more to cook from the garden... right now I'm still in the early Summer lull, which I thought I had avoided.

Lydia -- Wait till the okra comes in, then things get really vicious.

Karen -- I also have one spot that doesn't do well. Can't figure out why.

And thank goodness for CSA's -- they can really fill in the gaps for the home gardener.

Reeni -- Ooh, edamame. I'll have to try that. Do you know if it's a hot climate plant? I agree, pea tendrils are beautiful, which is one of the reasons I grew them. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous noble pig DATE:7/16/2009 12:35:00 PM Who knew there would be such fierce competition! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Kristen DATE:7/16/2009 05:15:00 PM Those darn peas are such trouble makers! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous jo DATE:7/17/2009 08:32:00 PM My Gran always used to say you had to have your peas planted by St. Patrick's day. I finally gave up after a few years of planting in the snow and never getting enough reward. She had a 1 acre garden and I think it takes that much space to get enough peas to truly enjoy. But oooooo the pea tendrils sauteed with garlic and sesame oil....ohhhh baby. ----- --------