Makeshift Cold Frame and Peas

nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)March 31, 2012

Since we're having such warm weather for this time of year, I'm tempted to plant some peas in a raised bed, and cover it up with an old window.

Do you think I've got a chance? Or will it still be too cold in a protected yard? I have tulips coming up already, so I'm wondering if I might as well risk it? 1/2 a pack of peas isn't worth much.....

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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

Let us know how they do? I have planted sweet peas this early before and they did ok. The only problem I could see is if they get too wet and rot. :( Worth a shot. :)

Ginny

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 7:31PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

For peas I wouldn't even bother with the cold frame. Just plant them, they won't be bothered by frost. I've had peas self-sow from ones I missed picking the year before, they sprout when the soil is barely warm and grow fine.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 9:21PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

I'm going to try a short row of spinach tomorrow. Maybe i'll throw some peas in with it!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 9:34PM
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nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)

Spinach?

Maybe I'll throw some of it in, too.

And while I'm at it, I think I have some sweet peas also.

Hmmm. I suppose I should start digging up more grass. I'm out of space and I haven't even started yet. =:)

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 10:54PM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

Lol! I'm already digging up the other half of the yard in my sleep! The problem is, I don't sleep long enough......it's a big yard! :)

Ginny

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 12:22AM
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nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)

Now that's about the funniest thing I've heard today ! =:)

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 12:36AM
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savona(z2bBCCanada)

One benefit in using a cold frame is protecting your seeds and seedlings from excessive rain and soggy ground.Ginny that would be perfect if it would work..if I could only organise some weeding while I slept too...haha

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 1:41PM
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bdgardener(3 AB)

Now you have me thinking, I have some spinach and swiss chard started in the unheated greenhouse, some has sprouted, they are in cells. Peas would be good. I have raised beds, I think if I made a tent with plastic it would stay cool (if the ends were open) but that would prevent any rain/snow. I could always cover with frost cloth too. I think it is worth a shot a pkg of peas is only $0.30.

I think my 4 year old would think it was a great project for today. She is really funny every store we go to she comes home with a pkg of what she is going to eat this year. C

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 9:57AM
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shazam_z3

There's a guy in Calgary that's featured on the news every now and again that grows a ton of stuff under some old windows. He had lettuce in February.

There's a book on gardening year round even in very cold climates like ours.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 1:27AM
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maggiemuffin360

You folks have given me some great ideas. I would never have thought I could plant so early, but have a new raised bed that would be perfect to plant some spinach, some swiss chard, maybe even some peas (although they never seem to do well for me).

Darn - looks like the bed might be too small!! LOL

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 10:32PM
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don555(3a)

Many years ago we had a very warm early spring and when our Mayday started to leaf out on April 2 I was inspired to plant spinach in the open garden. It came up fine but then we had a cold night in the latter half of April (-10 or so) and that stopped the spinach in its tracks. It didn't kill it, but it stopped growing and never recovered so I planted new spinach in May and that became my crop. So if you are planting this early, make sure you give some protection on the really cold nights. My guess is spinach would be fine to -5, but -10 is too cold for it.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 1:24AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

I used to be able to grow spinach but for the last 10 or so years, it seems to bolt right away. That's why i figured the earlier the better. Good to know about the temperature, though. Nothing has come up yet - it's just a week since i planted.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 9:49AM
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Slimy_Okra(2b)

In Saskatoon, I planted out spinach, swiss chard and kale on March 30. All they need is some row covers and plastic to protect them from very hard freezes. I'm not doing peas this year but last year I started them indoors and transplanted out in early April.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 11:53PM
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nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)

Well, I planted my peas quite a while ago, had nice weather, had rotten weather, had snow, had rain. I was so busy covering and uncovering some of the new bulbs that were growing up to 6 inches or more, that I never managed to get the window out to protect the peas. I keep thinking I'll see tiny little peas popping out, but I doubt it. I think maybe our wonky weather is going to moderate, so I think I'll try again. This time I'll take the time to do spinach, too.

How's everyone else doing?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 1:34AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Nothing came up in my experiment either. We've had the same thing - cold and some snow (moisture for them, right?!). Mine were never covered. I think that if April had been as mild as predicted, there might have been some growth, but the weather people lied to us again! The seeds are just sitting there waiting for things to get better - and i am too!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 8:43AM
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nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)

Hee hee. I dug down with my finger and found a pea that had the beginnings of a sprout on it. It's hard to say when it was from. I also found a green sprout of some sort, but didn't disturb it, so it could have been a weed. We'll see.

For the cost of a bit of water, I decided to give my experiment a drink and see what happens. Nature may still come through (?)

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 10:07PM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

A beautiful weekend in Edmonton and I stayed in the house for most of it. :( My DH had one week of afternoons 3 weeks ago, went to Calgary over Easter, and spent last weekend with plumbing problems! In between, I had the Painter man neutered, groomed and bathed all my dogs, made about 6 trips to the dump and Sally Ann, and dug the garden in the few hours of sleep I got! As beautiful and inviting as this weekend was to go out and do some yard work or look for greenery under the leaves, I caught up on some much needed sleep!

I have DL's poking up in the yard, irises about a foot high, and the beginning of some heuchera on the south side of the house. That is about all I have noticed outside. Inside, I have about 12 DLs in pots,some asiatics, dahlias, an iris who missed last summer planting, some potted melon seeds, and the end of my Easter lily blooms. LOTS to do and the forecast looks good for the week so I will not be bored! My sweet peas will go in this week and maybe spinach and swiss chard in the balcony planters on the east side of the deck. :) They are the easiest to get ready for planting......Here's hoping for some stable weather for everyone.

Just curious, does anyone soak their peas, beans, corn, sweet peas and such before planting?

Ginny

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 12:14AM
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shazam_z3

Daylilies, irises, lilies, heuchera are coming up, all the trees except the Swedish Aspen have broken dormancy and are breaking buds, roses are coming out strong, potentilla are way out (surprising, since I find they're a tad later than other plants). Bleeding heart of course is way up.

One surprise: I planted a Bartzilla Itoh peony last year, and the winter was so mild that some of the wood actually survived. It's breaking buds, which is astounding to see.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 3:57PM
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nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)

Well, wonders never cease.

About 90% of the peas that I planted have come up.

They managed to do this with -10, -6, snow, cold, rain, all in all, just horrible weather, and without ever being covered.

Yes, Ginny, I always soak my peas before planting. That's how I was told to do it years and years ago, so I've never changed my method. I feel bad for Painter. Isn't he the one that's so cute and reminds me of my grandfather?

Marcia, did you get any spinach come up recently? Did you find time to try peas?

Lynn

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 8:11PM
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Slimy_Okra(2b)

OK, for a moment there I was really wondering why Ginny neutered the guy who paints her house...sounded like excessive punishment to me!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 10:31PM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

LMAO! You guys are so funny! I just figured that I talk about my dogs so much that by now everyone knew who Painter was.......and yes Lynn, he is the one who looks like Grandpa. I had to do it as he bred his daughter last year and I just didn't want another litter from him . She is the only one I have left to breed and she will be bred to another blue boy in about a month. You'll have to check out the other guys litter on the gallery. I just got back from Calgary and took LOTS of pictures. :)

Gone for 36 hours and everything is green! My lillies and irises are bigger and the grass is green. I even saw leaves starting on the trees in Calgary! Hopefully this week will be a good one for gardening and yard work.

So glad your peas came up, Lynn. Dad always told me to soak any seed that was hard and I have done so all my life. In fact, Dad taught me most of what I know about gardening......vegies. And now I am passing on what I know to my SIL. I wonder how I got so lucky to have such an amazing daughter and SIL?

I am so super pumped for spring this year! It's bound to come, right? :)

Ginny

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 11:51PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

The peas are up, but the spinach isn't. It'll soon be time to plant the rest of the garden - so much for early spinach! LOL

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 10:48PM
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