Watching Peas Grow (Garden Update #6)

Whoever crowed about the excitement of watching grass grow clearly never planted snap peas. I started a simple stick and string trellis for these little guys last Sunday, and have been happily watching them climb it, tangle with each other, and dance in the sun all week. Have you ever grown peas? They have these amazing little tendrils that reach out for things to grab onto and support them — be it the next string on the trelis or the tendril of the pea shoot next to it. They also reach towards the sun throughout the day. I’ve been checking on them and nudging the tendrils upwards to the next string on my way out the door, and when I come home in the evenings I can marvel at their progress like a proud parent.

Pea Shoots

The pea shoots have definitely been the highlight of the garden this week, but there is a little more action. The spinach and arugula are getting bigger, and I did a little more thinning. The only problem is that most of the larger sprouts are packed in close to each other, and then there are other parts of the row that don’t have any sprouts at all — so after thinning, I’m left with not too many prospective spinach or arugula plants.

Lucky for me, though, there are some good local farmers who are much better at this stuff than I am, and they’ve been keeping me fed. I got arugula and salad greens from the market last week, as well as French Breakfast radishes and baby turnips. I’ve been loving the crispy, crunchy radishes and turnips in salad, and just eaten whole as little snacks. The baby turnips remind me a little bit of daikon radish (which I like a lot) but somehow slightly better. And the greens of both are equally good mixed into a salad for some mustardy flavor, or sauteed. I’ll look forward to these guys next year.

Radishes and Baby Turnips

I’m happy to buy these veggies from the pro’s, and I don’t have enough space to grow any substantial portion of what I eat anyway, but I also wonder what they’re doing to be so far ahead of my schedule. There are a couple raised beds in my neighborhood with plastic sheets stretched over poles, making a small greenhouse, and this might be a key tool for early spring gardening in some future year when I have more space. Any other tips for me?

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