This is a seriously proud flower, isn’t it? You’d think it is ready to get on with the business of making peas. So is this other one.
Let’s take a look, anybody making peas here?
There are a good number of pods on these vines. Plenty flowers and plenty pods, it seems that finally I am going to get a good crop. I’ve been fighting all winter long with mysterious pea-eating monsters. I feel deprived one of gardening’s best pleasures: freshly picked peas. The winter crop took a big hit, even though the vines were not bothered by mildew. First time ever that my pea plants don’t succumb to mildew and it turns out that someone else is ruining them! I am hoping that spring will treat my plants better.
In February I put in Super Sugar Snap and Sutton’s Harbinger shelling peas. When the plants reached about two feet, someone came and started eating them. Leaves, flowers, tendrils, stems, pods. Wholesale eating them. I’ve been looking for slugs and caterpillars everywhere, nothing. They are not it. I’ve been sizing up the juncos and finches fluttering about the garden. Nah… too small to take such big bites. Who is it? Who is coming to my garden every few days demolishing my pea vines?
Oh well, resignation sets in, I let go, I can’t find the culprit.
A quail calls from the top bar of the pea trellis. A quail? How come I didn’t think about it? A quail, of course. They can take big bites out of a plant, sure they can. They don’t fly much, but certainly enough to get themselves on top of the pea vines. I found the culprit.
My peas are now living under a cover of bird netting. Whatever was left from the pea plants and, I hope, whatever will be able to grow until the mildew makes it’s appearance, as it surely will. I saved my peas.
So I thought. I took care of protecting the plants from above, someone else arrived from below and proceeded to feast on the shelling peas. Gnawing at the shells, taking the seeds, and leaving the empty shells hanging on the vine, where I found them. Again, someone is taking my peas, and it is not me. A rodent, during the day. The ground squirrels are back and they found my peas.
I took care of this new threat. Finally I will be able to have the remaining peas, They are not ready to pick yet, I’ll just wait a little longer before I harvest them but I can relax.
What is this? A soil mound in the middle of the bed? Freshly dug soil, inside the wire mesh? A hole. Did a gopher get through the wire mesh? Am I ever going to get a decent crop of peas?
Nothing gets planted in this garden without a 1/2 inch chicken wire basket around its roots. All the garden’s beds are lined with chicken wire. Sometimes it is not enough. This hole turned out to be a vole burrow. The opening in the wire mesh is now closed. I restored order in the bed–my idea of order– and I am planning to keep a tight watch on my pea vines. I am harvesting some peas, but I want more, many more. And maybe this time I will be getting them… maybe…