Every few years, I get a yen to grow garden peas. This was one of those years. I ordered some fine seed, “Improved Laxton’s Progress,” bought a packet of soil inoculent, and planted a five foot row of seeds on April 9. I think every seed sprouted, and in May I thinned the plants to about four inches apart. By late May, the plants had many lovely white blossoms, and soon, baby pea pods!
Today, I deemed the pods were large enough to pick. Here is the sum total harvest from that row of peas:There are a very few small pods, holding minuscule peas, left on the plants, and no more blossoms. So, this is it! There will be no more peas from these plants.
Don’t get me wrong. I do not blame the peas themselves. Every seed came up, and the plants bore well. Each pod contains between four and seven sweet peas. However, I just do not have the space it takes to grow enough peas to make me happy. By the time I shell this quart, I may have enough peas for one meal for my family of four.
They will no doubt be delicious, but I do have to wonder, given the time it took me plant, thin, weed, harvest, and shell them; the precious space they use in my very small garden patch; and the expense of the seeds and inoculent, are garden peas a worthwhile crop for me?
I think not. The space would be better used to grow more early lettuce and spinach.
Will I remember this lesson in a few years when the yen to grow peas strikes once more? Again, I think not!