Monday, December 14, 2015

Peas to Garlic and a Surprise of Onion in the Garden

After my summer gardening came to an end, I went to work on my fall garden. Mind you, this is my first time to garden with vegetables in Virginia and I tend to hang on to Texas habits. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

That meant I was prepared to rip out the old and plant something new. In Texas, the summers are very hot while the autumn (and spring) are cooler, but not always by much. An occasional cold front comes through but typically doesn't last long. Winter is usually rather steady from Dec through the beginning of February, if that long, with a warmish string of days in between. Therefore, tomatoes, the popular summer crop, produce beautifully in a Texas autumn.

Well...Virginia isn't at all like Texas. In Virginia summer lasts for 3 months and only 3 months with an occasional cold front that last a couple of days. Spring and autumn might have a few warm days but they have much colder evenings, usually near freezing. Daytime can range anywhere from 40-60 degrees on an average day, and sometimes even colder than that. Warmer days are rare. Winter is brutal...especially these last few years of lingering winter weather of the polar vortex. Therefore I wasn't about to try more tomatoes. Instead, I thought I'd grow peas!

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My goal with peas was primarily to replenish the soil after growing tomatoes. Tomatoes take nutrients from the soil. Peas add them in. Even though I thought peas a rather odd autumn crop, I was willing to try and I still had my seeds from last spring. Because I planted them in late September, harvest was expected by Thanksgiving.

However there have been no peas. I am guessing it's because we have no bees to pollinate them in this cold weather, so I told my husband that we should rip them out. It's not all a loss. I'm sure they added good stuff to the soil.

Again, no process photos, since I've been under the weather. After my husband ripped out the peas, he planted my new crop idea of garlic! I bought bulbs a couple of months ago when I was buying pansies for the urns for the front porch. We'll see how that goes.

Meanwhile, when I took this photo of the peas the other day, I was surprised to find my onions growing quite well! At least 3 of them. I originally planted them last spring. They all seemed to disappear over the summer. I hope to cook a great meal from our onions. Stay tuned!

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