Thursday, April 8, 2010

If You Peas

This post should have been up a few days ago, but for some reason we've experienced hugely frustrating internet outages in our part of the world lately. The outages tend to occur when it is very windy, or right at 5pm. Good times.

Anyways, this is a peas post!

Right now my Oregon Sugar Pod II snow peas are growing like crazy these days. I wish I could say the same for the regular peas that I have (all 3 rows of them) but they're still sputtering here and there. In any event, the snow peas are supposed to be bush-like, which means that they don't necessarily need a trellis to grow on. However, how can resist these little hands?

If a trellis will make the snow peas happy, a trellis they shall have. And speaking of trellises, we've had a bit of a trellis showdown here on the WatRanch lately. Bill wanted to employ his design from last year, with some improvements. Last year we planted 6 feet of peas whereas this year we planted 100 feet of peas. Therefore, recycling was not a complete option.

This is last year's trellis. It was made entirely from recycled wooden pallets that we pulled from a dumpster and some twine. It did it's job for the most part, but to hand-string all of the twice would have been too labor intensive. So Bill improved upon his design by using plastic garden netting, more pallet wood, and PVC piping:

(Ignore all the Duplos strewn about. I have to throw them at Joe to distract him from walking all over the growing veggies.) There is a wooden stake in the middle of this panel to stabilize the netting. While I appreciate the help in the garden, it became evident fairly early on that this design was not quite perfect. For example, it was hard to align the netting in the middle of the peas, so there will be some that have to reach a loooong way to get to the net. Plus, it's not the prettiest design in the world.

My turn. By investing $.89 each at my local feed store, I bought several stakes of iron rebar and threaded it through the netting. That made it easier to pivot the trellis sections to reach the most peas possible.

Hard to see it, isn't it? The netting in the immediate foreground is the top of the trellis that I was standing behind. I LIKE that it's hard to see, because it makes the garden appear neater, which as you can see from the clutter in these pics, it isn't. In terms of stability, I think my design will hold up against our spring gully-washers much better than Bill's, but time will tell. And yes, I promise to report honestly those results.

Compare from right to left. Of course this will all be moot in a few weeks when the peas are blossoming and I'm too excited to care about neatness.

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