Proctor’s Garden: It’s time to plant peas

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St. Patrick’s Day means it’s time to plant your peas. Peas that are planted too late will burn in the summer heat.

DENVER — St. Patrick’s Day has long been the traditional date for planting peas.

No, it is neither too cold nor too early. Peas are cool season crops. They germinate and grow best in cool or even cold weather. They can withstand temperatures as low as 25 degrees. Peas planted in hot weather will not thrive and are magnets for spider mites. Try planting them in early April.

Peas are easily grown in pots. If really cold weather threatens, take them to the garage or shed.

Soak the peas overnight before planting them. They will plump up and germinate better. Plant them an inch deep; I use a pencil to make holes. Space them about an inch apart. It helps moisten the soil first. Otherwise, overhead watering risks washing the seeds too deeply.

As they grow, provide them with a trellis or stakes to hold on to. I use bamboo stakes. In Ireland and England, they are even called pea sticks.

Pay attention to the variety of peas you buy. Some are quite short – around two feet – while others go up to four feet or more. Additionally, there are three different types of peas: snow peas, shell peas, and snow peas. Snow peas have edible pods. Shelled peas must be shelled. Snow peas are grown solely for their pods.

Are you getting ready for spring? Here’s more from Proctor’s Garden to get your garden ready:

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