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Showing posts from 2011

Sweet Peas: Admire the Flowers or Eat the Peas?

Sweet peas bloom in my birth month (April) -- and I love them. I love the soft colors, the complex flowers, the scent and the seasonality.

This year, when someone asked me for a birthday present idea, I said, "How about some sweet peas?"

I was standing in a farmer's market staring at buckets of bundled blossoms. A bouquet of sweet peas was what I had in mind. The delivered gift was a half dozen sweet pea plants tightly rolled in newspaper pots.

I just got them planted in the garden at the edges of the knitted trellis. They'll be fighting onions for ground space.  We don't have the soaker hoses set up yet so they will be at the mercy of whoever mans the watering can.

Will they bloom this late? Do they make edible legumes?

Know Your Soil For Best Garden Results

I've always taken soil for granted. It was there. You put seeds into it. You put water on it. Plants grow and produce flowers, fruit or vegetables.
Gayle Weinstein, author of Xeriscape Handbook; A How-To Guide to Natural, Resource-Wise Gardening, takes a different view: “Soil . . . acts as a highway between life and death, land and atmosphere, plants and animals.”
It stores water, air and nutrients and makes it possible for an exchange of elements and chemical reactions to occur, she adds. She describes soil as being animal, vegetable and mineral combined.
Here are six tests Gayle recommends for getting to know your soil. Grab a shovel and a quart jar. Dig up two cups of dry soil two-to-six inches deep from the areas you want to test. Gather a glass of water, dish washing detergent and paper towels. A soil pH kit, a meter or litmus paper will be needed for the final test.