I have limited garden space and want to make the most out of it this year. How early can I plant english peas and how long will it take for them to mature? I'm in Pittsboro, NC.
Feb 1 is the earliest, however, the ground should not be frozen and we sometimes get ice storms the last two weeks of January to the first two weeks of February. So, I usually plant peas on Valentine's Day since it is easy to remember.
Besides Peas, You can also plant Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Endive, Kale, Kohlrabe, Lettuce, Mustard, Onion, Radish, Spinach, and Turnips on Valentine's Day.
To find the range of dates for planting veggies there is a chart put out by Wyatt Quarles Seeds which is based in Garner, NC. It is specifically for the Piedmont area of NC and includes recommended varieties, how much to plant for a 100' row that you can divide by the length of your row, and how many days to harvest after germinating, etc. Should have everything you need to know about planting dates for all veggie seeds in NC.
There is also a good book specifically for edibles in NC I recommend highly. It is called "The North Carolina Fruit and Vegetable Book" by Walter Reeves & Felder Rushing, and has lots of recommendations for varieties that do well here, how to prepare your soil, water and fertilizing, etc. What it doesn't tell you are veggie companion plants and things like "don't plant strawberries in soil that grew tomatoes, peppers or potatoes in the last five years". I just write that information at the top of the chapter about a specific veggie or fruit. I also took the WQ sheet and marked the plant dates and the rest of the information they provide. That way I go to ONE book and look up everything I need to know about a specific veggie or fruit.
You might want to consider growing organically since you are starting out. There are a lot of tips out there for home-brewed non-chemicals to use instead of all the "-cides" like pesticides, herbicides, etc. And lots of alternative products like the non-harmful slug killer called Escar-Go. If you're going to eat it, consider growing it without something that is marked "Hazardous to Humans", or even "Hazardous to Fish", 'cause I like to eat them too. Check out the Organic Gardening Forum here on the GW too if you are interested.
Nancy the nancedar
Here is a link that might be useful: Veggie Seed Planting Information
Thanks for the info Nan. Do you know where I can get my hands on the chart by Wyatt Quarles Seeds? I can't seem to find it online.
Click on the link that is highlighted at the bottom of my reply - Veggie Seed Planting Information. and it will take you there.
Duh! I looked all over the net for that! I now have it saved in my favorites. I also ordered the book you suggested from Amazon. It was only around 9.00 with shipping! I can't wait for it to get here.
Thanks for your help, Candace
I got the book in the mail today. It is WONDERFUL! I'm in the process of writing in the info from the chart as you suggested.
Thanks for your help!
MY PEAS ARE UP LIKE GANGBUSTERS!!! this weather is great so far.GREENSBORO NC DO NOT BE SHY WITH COMPOST!!!WE HAVE CLAY SOIL AND COMPOST GENERATES HEAT.MIX A VERY GENEROUS BLEND OF COMPOST AND LIGHT COAT OF LIME AND IRONITE AND FERTILIZER AND ITS GOING TO BE A WONDERFUL YEAR.P.S.IF YOU HEAVILY COMPOST LIKE ME SET YOUR SMOOTH PEAS OUT AFTER FROST.IN NOVEMBER.DO NOT LIME NEAR YOUR POTATO PATCH!!FOR THE BEST COMPOST GO TO YOUR CITY DUMP!!!NO JOKING THEY HAVE TO FOLLOW SANITATION RULES.AND IT IS DYNAMITE STUFF!!!PEAS LOVE IT $$$$$$$$$$$!!!