Sunday, September 29, 2013

To Pea, or Not to Pea

Plant Now or Later?
Gardening in the Rain
Bitty Basil and Shed Pine Needles
Muddy Crook Neck Squash
Cornucopia of Kale, Lettuce, Curry & Bitty Basil
Tomatoes & Tarragon
Ahhh...Hot Bubble Bath with Cocoa & Sunflowers
That is today's question--do I over winter $3.95 worth of peas, or do I save my precious packet of organic pod pellets for spring?

My peas this year were grumpy at best. Truly a cool spring plant, I waited too late to sow peas. I got enough to snack on throughout the summer, crisp and sweet as they were. But few. And stunted. My hopes for a pea tee-pee never materialized.

The peas planted in the shade of the shed did best; those directly in the sun did not fare as well. I can set up a tee-pee of bamboo poles in that area only after I've harvested my kale. Unlike the peas, I planted the kale later and now that it is wet and cool, my kale is magnificent. My dilemma is what to do with all that kale!

Winter gardening sounded fun until the first hint of winter weather. Dirt is not as luxurious to dig in when sopping and cold. Just the thought of gardening today makes me crave hot cocoa and a bubble bath. Maybe that will be my reward. The bright orange, deep red and golden tomatoes need to come inside to become sauce. The summer squash plants seem to ignore the fact that summer is over; they keep producing. Which means I need to keep picking.

And the herbs--if I'm going to dehydrate them, I need to harvest first. Already my basil has bolted. Basil was not the best grower anyhow, but I have a quasi-cool "tree" with tiny basil leaves. My globes hardly put out leaves at all and for one shining moment my purple basil was full of promise until it got too dry and never fully recovered.

Days like this I feel like the guilty gardener. The thought of pulling out plants and winterizing my garden seems so harsh. Vegetarians that think it more humane to eat plants, have never had the heartache of harvest--sometimes it is a success, sometimes not, but the uprooting of a plant that you've sown by seed is just as hard as taking a steer to slaughter.

So while I delay, pondering peas the rain returns. It cleared up earlier, the ocean clouds had thinned and I missed my chance to garden cold and damp. Now if I go out I'll be cold and soaking wet. The weather forcast is bleak. It reads, "You live in the Pacific Northwest and a steady stream of wet storms will plow over you until May, gifts from both Oregon and Seattle, depending on the direction of the gale winds."

Maybe, I'll just plant a few peas and see what happens. That's always the best any gardener can do. And now for that warming reward...


  1. Ah! Yes, the bubble bath and beauty of sunflowers should ease the body after it worked in the garden all day!

    1. It did, Ruth! My sunflowers are late bloomers, but glad to have them while the skies are so gloomy.