The Beauty Of A Humble Garden

By Jannie Vaught

Today’s topic of conversation is peas and growing squash, melons and pumpkin in pits. In Texas peas, Pisum sativum, English peas, sugar snap, and snow peas, not to be confused with Southern peas, black eye, and crowded peas. They should have already been planted. as they are a cool-weather crop. They go in the ground in the fall. They are either bush or trellis variety. They like about any type of soil. Have a few insect issues but some well placed sticky traps cat control aphids and fungus gnats and white flies. Or a light spray of soapy water. If you have been noticing we have had some continued cold and stormy weather recently and a 3 weeks ago I decided to plant peas and sugar snaps. Yes, cold crop plants but what the heck lets give it a try. Planted them in rows with trellising. and because of the ever-changing cooler temperatures they are growing. You just never know if experimenting will work. They are growing and starting to flower with their climbing tendrils clinging to the netting. The rest we will find out as they are really slow when it gets hot. When to pick for sweet tender peas. I do the feel and pick a sample test. If there is a pea inside the shell I’ll open it and see how far into its growth. Pick before they get big and no wrinkles. The more wrinkles on the pea the more sugar and sweeter they are. Look at the seeds you plant also hard and firm or wrinkled. Depending on what you’re after peas for soup or peas as a side dish or salad. Or best yet fresh from the patch. Back in the past peas were as popular to grow as tomatoes are now. Thomas Jefferson had a contest whoever had the first peas had to have a supper of peas for the other growers.

In our ever-changing world, I am learning to observe and adapt and even try some out of the ordinary planting. Last year we had abundant melons that went crazy sprawling everywhere. So as I’m in a changing type of mood were doing our melons, squash and pumpkin plants in what I’m calling pits. My fellow gardeners decided to not put them into the big garden, but we want melons and squash, where can we plant them? It was decided to use a section that has too much grass. Why not dig out the grass in a large circle? Add compost and some fertilizer make a mound and plant into it. Use the hose for water as this is off the soaker hose section and let them sprawl into the yard. Then I went online and found some backyard gardeners that were doing the same thing. Great garden minds think alike. Thus the word pumpkin pits. But as usual, were stretching it to melons. And come to think of it some of my biggest and best watermelons have grown in the front yard from seeds that arrived from eating and spitting seeds! Now it all seems to come together.

In this ever-changing world we are looking at most everything with a different slant. Don’t be afraid to step out of the box and try something different, that’s how we learn and test the waters of change.

Growing Green With Jannie