The leaves are falling, snow is in the forecast and I am digging out my winter coat and boots. You know what that means…time to plant peas! It is an experiment I have always wanted to try but have never been organized enough to have pea seed on hand in October.
Every year–due to my love of sheet mulching with garden waste in the fall–I get volunteer vegetables in the spring. These volunteers always outperform the seeds I sow in the spring. This year–as I munched on some garden peas that had come up in the onion bed and matured a full three weeks before the ones I planted on purpose!–I decided to finally try my hand at planting the vegetable garden in the fall.
It’s certainly not an original idea. In my well-thumbed book titled Vegetable Favorites by Lois Hole published 20 years ago, she suggests trying a fall planting of vegetables including carrots, lettuce, onions, parsnips, spinach and Swiss chard. Planting a little more thickly and deeply to compensate for reduced germination, she talks about harvesting fall planted crops two to four weeks before those planted in the spring.
Besides peas I also have some lettuce, Swiss chard, spinach and beet seed left over that I am going to try. I even created a couple new beds specifically for the experiment.
It was kind of nice dropping the fat pea seeds along the row while the leaves rained down around me and geese ganged up overhead. There are few things more hopeful than dropping a handful of seeds into the soil. Especially mere weeks before winter is due to arrive.
I also planted the usual fall garlic bulbs. Music is a my usual go-to garlic, but this year I planted a new variety (to me) that I bought from Veseys called Siberian. The description says they are “Hot, spicy and full of flavour, grows milder in storage. Larger bulbs with a stunning rich burgundy-purple skin, each containing about 6 easy to peel cloves. Thrives in cold climates and is a great choice for those in cold winter areas.”
And sow…we’ll see.