St. Patrick's Day - time to plant Potatoes and Peas

sweetannie4u(midOK_z6b/7a)March 14, 2013

Every year around the middle of March and as part of my St. Patty's Day celebration, I plant my snow peas and set my potatoes in the ground.

My little Irish-Portuguese Papa ALWAYS did this and taught me to do the same.

Today I am going to drive into town to buy the Red Pontiac seed-spuds and plant out the Snow peas that I already sprouted.
Then a good cover of leaf mulch and water them in.

If I am not totally wiped out after all the weeding and planting the above, I will plant out my onion sets too.

How about you?
Any of you hold to this old Irish tradition?

~ Erin go Bragh ! ~

This post was edited by sweetannie4u on Thu, Mar 14, 13 at 8:29

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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Happy St. Patrick's Day... I'll be planting snow peas too if the rain lets up, "Shiraz" the new purple snow pea from the UK. I grew them last year for the first time and really liked them in fact only a few made it from the garden to the kitchen, we ended up snacking on most of them in the garden ;). The only other snow pea I've grown is the "Golden Yellow", much prefer the purple ones which are not overly sweet but nice and crunchy with a nice flavor. If I had more room I'd be planted "Red Pontiac" too, this is one of my favorites. Last year I grew a sample of one of the so called gourmet types, can't remember the name YUCK!!! won't do that again. Annette

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 10:08AM
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Oh wow! They are lovely!

You can grow potatoes in any kind of large container, ie an old tire or a wooden box. They don't have to be grown in rows.
You can even use bricks or rocks for a container.

If you have room on your patio or lawn, lay down some black garden fabric and then stack your bricks around it in a circle or square and at least 2 ft deep or deeper. Then follow the directions for filling it which I'll give below.

When the potatoes are finished and harvested, plant beans or some other veggie in the same container. (or annual flowers)

In each container, put in a layer of dirt, then hay or leaves, then the potato seed, then more hay or leaves on them, and then top with more dirt. Cover with more hay or leaves. Water sparingly or else they will just rot.

From every 3-4 lb bag of potato seed, I got a return of over 40 lbs of yummy, buttery New Potatoes. I just harvested the bigger ones and the bushes continued to produce more potatoes for weeks by doing that, until it got hot and the bushes died..

Home grown potatoes are so much tastier than anything you can buy at the grocers. They were my biggest veggie seller when I was selling produce at the farmers market.

This post was edited by sweetannie4u on Thu, Mar 14, 13 at 10:48

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 10:38AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Annie I've tried the tire thing with potatoes but didn't have much luck. Maybe I should try it your way, what size the square? 2x2, 3x3?

Got a little ahead of myself, St. Patrick's Day isn't until 17th so hold that thought till then :).


    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 11:12AM
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It depends upon how many you want to plant. I space my potato seed about 12-18 inches apart. Planting them close like that, the plants roots and tops knit together and hold one another up.
You can space them up to 2 feet apart if you like.

If they are small spuds, I leave them whole. It they are big ones, I quarter them. Just make sure that each seed piece has one or more "eyes".

Plant Marigolds on each row end or every three feet between plants if in a circle. Marigolds are stinky and ward off potato beetles. Their roots are shallow and don't bother the potatoes.
Just sprinkle the marigold seeds where you want them to grow. You can thin them out later once they start to grow.

I often plant one row of potatoes, then one row of bush beans in the garden, alternately. It confuses the potato bugs when they fly over. I seldom get any beetles.

So, if you make the beds 3X5, that would allow for you to plant a row of French marigolds (or bush beans) down the center between two rows of potatoes that are spaced two feet apart (spacing your potato seed 12 inches apart), and then three or four marigold plants spaced across each end.

Does that make sense?

This post was edited by sweetannie4u on Thu, Mar 14, 13 at 17:31

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 5:24PM
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It started out chilly this morning. I had to wear my fleece lined hoody. But it warmed up fast - got up to 80 degrees by noon. Off came the hoody and my long sleeved blouse and I put on a tank top and flip flops and had to turn the AC on. Not that 80 is so terribly hot, but after being in the 40s and 50s, it sure felt terrible. By sunset, the temps started dropping fast. So the AC had to be shut off and the furnace turned back on. What the heck?

Another Cold Front is moving into the state and it will drop back down into the previous temps...or colder.

It's bizarre! How can you acclimate to crazy weather like this, let alone grow a garden in it???

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 1:25AM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

Well fancy that, I also sowed some snow peas the other day. Sowed some saved seed from 'Oregon Sugar Pod II' (delish) and seed saved from 'Shiraz' (that someone on GW so kindly shared with me). ;-) I'm so curious to see if they come true second generation, since they are hybrid I believe.

The flowers are fab too. They started out a two tone pink/crimson and then faded more to a violet/periwinkle. Pic below...

Speaking of that, has anyone ever tried broad beans? I saw an English garden show the other day that featured some lovely crimson flowered broad beans.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 2:17AM
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While I am tempted to put on knee high boots and wade through the 18 inches of snow in my backyard to shovel off my raised beds...............I think I might as well wait for a while before I try planting my peas.

They are beautiful plants, I am looking forward to them.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 7:40AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Annie, thanks for the 'how to' the next time I want to give it try I'll do it your way.

Christin, I still have a few of my original "Shiraz" seed left but I'm sowing from seed I saved last year as I too am interested in seeing if they come true. How did you like the flavor, I thought they were really good, not having grown any other snow peas other than "Golden Sweet" which I thought were ho hum.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 9:51AM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

-Annette, taste was fine, though not say as sweet as my 'Oregon Sugar Pod II'. 'Shiraz' was slightly tough/less "snappy" too. Did you find that at all? I'm thinking that it could be because I grew them in an (albeit large) pot. Some times certain veg just don't seem to respond well to growing in pots. This year I switched it around and am growing the 'Shiraz' on part of the fence to see if toughness and taste might be improved.

Although really, I would grow it again just because the flowers were lovely and I got a fair eating pea out of it. It makes up for not having lots of luck with sweet peas, even though the snow peas don't smell nice :-)

I've still got a few 'SP II' seeds (saved) left if you wanted a few to grow for the sake of comparison. LMK..

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 2:05PM
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I grow Broad Beans every year. They are my all-time faves.
They produce and produce and produce.

My Snow Peas are sprouted, but am not making much head way with clearing my garden of weeds so I can get things planted, darn it!. My legs are so weak and my lower back is killing me.
I have to get my spring veggie crops in NOW if I am going to have any at all. Here in the Southern Plains, it goes from erratic early spring (cold-hot-cold-hot) to a gorgeous blush of Spring so wonderful that you are glad to live here. But quickly, sometimes virtually overnight, it changes to HOTTEST hell.. Fall gardens might be good, except that the weather, as with our springs, is just too unpredictable to bother.. We might enjoy a long autumn of beautiful, pleasant weather, but often as not, just as my crops are looking great, we get a deep freeze or at least a hefty Hoar frost. I have extended some of my crops with covers and bales of hay as barriers, but it is so much work and I just can't cut the mustard any more.
And then, we also have tornadoes - in the spring thru early summer and again in the fall. This is due to the moist Gulf Stream colliding with the drier Arctic Jet Stream over us all the time, but it is worse when the seasons change.. Just as my corn starts to tassel and the tomatoes have grown huge and starting to change colour....SWOOSH!
You just have to garden by faith here. Take it or leave it. That's how it is.

If I had my way, I'd go HOME to San Diego County in Southern California where I can garden nine months out of the year with beautiful tropicals, herbs, cacti (that I wouldn't have to drag inside every fall), and all manner of flowers, fruit, avocados, and citrus trees....and deal with the dense fog, droughts, the wildfires, the newcomers, and the earthquakes that I am accustomed to dealing with. (LOL) I ao miss the mountains and tall redwood trees, and trips to the Ocean, all just a few miles away in any direction. (dreaming ...)
But we have to stay where the work is, so here we are!
My spine has been disintegrating for the past fifteen years and I have arthritis so bad in other areas that excessive walking is just not going to happen anymore I literally collapse. I have worked too hard all my life and it is so difficult to let up and slack off. I have so many things I still WANT to do and many things I NEED to do, but my body has just had ENOUGH. ((grinning)). So, it is probably a good thing that I live where I do with limited pleasant gardening weather or else I would literally work myself to death!

Still, it is the fact that I keep working that also keeps me going - crazy, but true. I have to get exercise or my joints lock up and I would get atrophy. Sucks, but them's the breaks! So, I deal with the pain and keep going while I can. I look a lot younger than I am, but I sure don't feel like it. But, I do alright. No complaints. It's just the way things are, I reckon.
It turned out to be another HOT day today - those weather men can't deal with the fact that the typical weather patterns no longer exist, so their forecasts are not always accurate anymore because those old weather patterns are changing...all the time.

Still, it could turn nasty any time and I have to get with it if I am going to get my Spring veggies in the ground:
i.e., cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, lettuces, radishes, carrots,. and onions.

Next month - in April, : then the warm weather crops go into the ground, like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, okra, beans, melons, corn, Herbs and etc.

...digging in the Red Dirt of Central Oklahoma and dreaming of retiring back home near the coast.....where we will probably fall off into the ocean when the Big One HITS. :)
I'm IRISH! Can't win for losing...

(p.s - mandolls I didn't mean to sound like I was biting your head off...just 'splainin' the dilemma that we in the Southern Plains have to deal with. The thing is, just be happy with what you have and where you live. That's all any of can do, right? As you said, when the weather is right where you live, you can get out there and get after it! And we will be JEALOUS of your gardens..)

This post was edited by sweetannie4u on Fri, Mar 15, 13 at 21:59

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 4:59PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

Thanks Annie. What do broad beans taste like?? Any comparisons you can give?

I've got some hot peppers an eggplant started under by grow light. Threw some kale seed out a few days ago.

LOL. That's why you pay no mind to the weathermen but lean yourself out a window. If you come back in wet you know it's raining, if there are snowflakes on your lashes it must be snowing. :-)

I'm so sorry to hear about your physical problems dear Annie. :-(

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 7:45PM
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Not sure what taste I could compare with Broad Beans. They taste like a bean, only buttery (almost). No sure. They are not waxy, but buttery. They have more flavor, but none of the bitter after taste that you get with regular green beans. No strings or tough skin.
They are big and wide and flat-ish. (hence their name)
Wish I could tell you something better than that. I'm just at a loss for describing the taste.

My red bells are emerging. Yeah! Still have more varieties of peppers to start. My favorite hot peppers, besides Jalapenos, are ' Mexibells' (a squatty little HOT bell pepper) and 'Hatch' peppers (from Hatch, NM) . The Hatch peppers have the best flavor of all my hot peppers and prolific. Can't do without them every year!.

I potted up my one (1) 'Sungold' grape Tomato today, in a 2-gallong pot. It will have to stay in the greenhouse awhile longer yet. Just one of those tomatoes will be enough for us. They are very prolific producers. Very sweet and yummy for snacking. and in salads. Great for making Fruit Salsas too because of their sweetness. Loaded with Vitamin C.

You needn't feel sorry for my infirmities - they made me discover more about myself - made me try harder; learn how to do things that I wouldn't have learned how to do otherwise. Everything has it's reason and a purpose. It is just our challenge to discover what they are and what we can do with what we have been given in this life. It is hard, of course, and I gripe about them, you bet, and I even hate them sometimes, and resent the darned restrictions in doing what I love to do, yes, of course I do! BUT...I do find a way to accomplish things. I do! If not, I change my plans, alter my course, but keep going. That's what's important. Isn't it? Never EVER give up!
But thank you for caring Hun. ((HUGS))


This post was edited by sweetannie4u on Fri, Mar 15, 13 at 23:01

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 10:30PM
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koszta_kid(Iowazone 5)

Will be awhile before we can plant here in Iowa.But got snow peas seeds ready.Frost still in ground. And colder then normal.Maybe a good thing.Last year all of our many fruit trees bloomed.Then late heavy frost killed them. None to share with older people at church.or for us.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 4:59AM
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Annie - didnt sound like you were "biting" to me. I am mostly happy living in WI, but this time of year I get a little grouchy and impatient with spring not starting when I think it should. I lived most of my life 600 miles south of here and by the end of February I still think spring should be arriving - and darn it, it never does!

I dont miss the killer summers though.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 7:34AM
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A raccoon paid my garden a visit early Friday morn.
He went fishing and caught one of my goldfish.
Blast it all!

So this morning at dawn, I armed myself with my pellet/BB gun and went out in my jammies to see if he was back for the other one he didn't get!

No sign of him this morning, but I will be on the hunt every morning.

He will be after my Hens next.

I only pumped the gun a few times. It won't kill him - just enough pressure to pepper his butt and make run him off.

Go find your breakfast elsewhere you rascal!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 11:07AM
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Oh Annie, Raccoons. We have a family of the stinkers. DH is a softy when it comes to all animals, and all he does is spray with ammonia. (water gun) And...he makes sure to avoid their eyes. It does make them leave the deck, but they come back. Every night. Oddly enough, they haven't bothered the goldfish pond, and our cats give them a wide berth.

DH bought live trap and caught one and took it off in the woods and release it. He tried trapping the next one up, but we have a silly black cat that goes into the trap by the time it is set. Over and over again.

I did find one good thing about raccoons. They went into my garden, and dug up vole tunnels and ate voles. I would be willing to feed them if they would keep that up. I have lost quite a few roses and several daylilies to the voles, my number one garden enemy.


    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 8:42AM
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The BB's don't penetrate their thick fur if you only pump the gun a few times - three is enough. When I shoot it, it makes a loud pop, and the BB's just hit their thick fur, stinging at most, but never penetrating their skin. I am careful not to shoot their heads - I don't want to put out an eye.

Raccoons are very smart. They also know how to unhook latches on our screen doors and chicken pens. Their little hands, so much like human hands, are very inept at using mechanical things, levers, and such. They can turn door knobs and figure out how to get through almost any barrier, even electrical ones. Oh yes, they can! Super smart.

I put a piece of PVC pipe in the fish pond for the fish to hide inside when Raccoons come fishing. I've lost hundreds of my fish to the rascally rascals- Koi, Shubunkins, Angel Koi and goldfish, even two huge Ghost Koi....all gone, one or two at a time. I figured the PVC pipe would at least give the smaller fish a place to hide.. I used a piece long enough that the Raccoons cannot reach very far into it and grab the fish. They are afraid of getting caught in traps so are wary of the pipe. So, I was surprised to find one fish missing.

I went out two days later and fed the surviving fish. It's been sunny and lovely. Well, guess what? The other fish was in there swimming with her friend. She was just still hiding inside the pipe! She finally came out and was swimming around pretty as you please. So, the pipe worked! Yeah! I just have two surviving fish now - they were mixed with the Shubunkins, so some had black and other colours.. I had 6 adults and four babies in there last summer. Down to the two all-orange goldfish.

Raccoons generally make their raids just before dawn, unless they are very, very hungry. They just rip through the ponds, tearing up all my water plants, turning pots upside down and going ape chasing the fish with their little hands.

If my coonhound hears them out side, I let her out to chase them off. Of course, she may send them on a merry chase through all my flowers and veggies and do more damage than the raccoons! Eventually, she will tree them and sit down below bellowing up at them...for hours. If she is still on the property and in the yard, I go out with the leash and flashlight and DRAG her back to the house, but she doesn't come willingly. She reacts like a wild stallion, rearing up on her hind legs and kicking, twisting her body and throwing her head about trying to free herself from the leash! I calmly keep telling her that she did good, and finally, when she finally calms down, pleased with herself for having done her job, she happily goes into the house with me, By that time, I am completely exhausted! You have to talk calmly to hound dogs, particularly certain breeds, like mine - they will NOT listen to you if you use a harsh tone or yell

The terrified raccoon eventually slides down out of the tree, and tears off into the nearby woods...until the next time.

Fun on the farm! Hardly a night goes by that some sort of drama isn't played out.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 1:38PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Christin, thanks for the offer of the SP's but lack of room to grow them I have to pass but thanks anyways.
I grew two crops of 'Shiraz' last year, the first from the seed from the UK and the second, seed from this first crop, they came true. Same deep rich color. I'd say mine were crunchy raw rather than tough but that could very well be just my take on them also not overly sweet but then I'm not a big fan of sweet. One year I grew my tomatoes along side of the house (stucco), we had an exceptionally hot sunny summer the tomatoes were so sweet I didn't like them at all, gave them all away.

Saw a squirrel here yesterday for the first time since 1965, back then we had the small native red squirrels in the park across the street but they disappeared not to be seen again. The squirrel we saw yesterday was an eastern grey, some fool introduced to the south end of the island and now they have migrated up island. Cute to look at but so destructive, we also have bull frogs, another none native that some idiot introduced here, when will people ever learn.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 11:40AM
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