Learning to grow veggies in a smaller garden is a lot like learning to cook for two once the kids are up and gone. No matter how hard you try, there is always enough left over for a kid or two. A few years ago I moved and had to leave my big old vegetable garden behind. For several years I grew veggies in raised beds only, but two years ago we tilled up a small vegetable garden. It's about a fourth the size of my old garden. After more than 20 years planning and planting my garden, the natural inclination is to order the same amount of seeds.
I've been doing well with it and have learned that you really don't need two to three 30 foot rows of bush beans. Ten feet will provide more than enough for the family - unless you intend to can them. I also learned that two or three zucchini and summer squash plants will provide fresh veggies all summer and you won't have to worry about trying to give the excess away. I even learned that I only need a couple rows of potatoes to eat as new potatoes.
But, peas still give me a problem. I used to plant two pounds of peas. I cut that down to one pound and discovered it was more than I needed. This year I bought a half a pound of pea seed. It didn't look like a lot, until I soaked them.
I planted them along my pea fence in the garden and suddenly realized I had tons of peas left to plant and no place to tuck them. Because they were tall telephone peas, my choices were limited. I left them sitting overnight, but woke up with them on my mind. Visions of lush green foliage and juicy pods swam in my head and I knew that I couldn't just let them go to waste.
So, you may be wondering what I decided to do with them. I filled planters with soil and tossed in the pea seed and set them along my back deck where they could climb the lattice - but I still had some left. I dug up the dirt under a little elm tree and threw the rest into the soil. I'm not sure how well they will do, but the area gets full sun from early morning until past noon - in these parts, that means a full seven hours of sunlight.
Whether they perform well there remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure: I'm sure to be the talk of the town when the neighbors discover telephone peas climbing up my elm tree.
Until Next Time . . . HAPPY GARDENING!
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