Growing Pea Shoots in November
I'm giving it a go! Yellow split peas are cheap and cold-hardy, that's why I want to try sowing a new batch of pea shoots now in November.
We eat most of the things I grow in my garden. For example pea shoots! But it's not something we use all the time, simply because there are so many other things to eat throughout the year. It's just not worth growing in summer when we have so much lettuce, purslane, basil and similar to eat. Early spring, fall and winter is another story though. This is the perfect time to grow pea shoots!
You can basically use pea shoots for all kinds of dishes. People who don't grow much themselves might mainly use them as decoration, but we see them more as a regular vegetable. Here at home, we use large bunches each time. I decided to grow them in large pots in the polytunnel this fall. We usually keep them in raised beds outdoors though, or use pea shoots as a sort of filler in our regular beds.
More about late-season gardening: Harvesting carrots in fall
I sowed our latest batch of pea shoots in the second week of October and had a few nights of frost since then. It's actually been freezing in the polytunnel. That spot is of course protected in many ways, but it's still going to get cold. The pea shoots are hardy though and can deal with the frost.
If you know a little about me, the fact that I decided to sow new pea shoots just the other day won't come as a surprise. I used an entire box of yellow split peas and spread them out on top of the soil in two large pots. Then, I just push the peas down with my hand, water and then push again. So I don't cover my peas with soil. After that, I add double layers of row cover on top of the sowing.
And then I wait!
Read more: Sprouting in a strainer
It looks like we're having a few colder nights ahead of us, but my experience is that peas are a lot hardier than we think. Peas are supposed to germinate even at 39 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius.) So, most people might think that it's too late to sow pea shoots in the polytunnel in November, or that it's way too early to do it in January. But it's not! And you can always do something to give your seeds an extra boost that helps them survive the cold. Using row cover is a great way to protect your pea shoots.
Of course, there are no guarantees. I'm going to give it a try just for fun. If it works, we might just have fresh shoots around Christmas!
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