Means The Transition to More Summer Plants!
Last year I grew peas for the first time and we loved them, especially just eating them right in the garden. No pests and just some trellis. I knew they would be done by the end of May-middle of June, so I planned to transition those beds to other summer crops.
Above is a bed where the peas have already been removed, and I have added some of the nice compost I got for free from work. I did a quick cultivation and direct seeded more Cherokee Wax beans. The bed to the left has the same beans growing at 2 different stages. My journaling skills suck, so I don’t know the exact date planted… I will say the more mature are probably about 5 weeks, the younger about 2 weeks. Between these plots, I should get a relatively continuous harvest over the summer. That is the plan, we will see how it goes.
The general harvest time for these type of bush beans (for snap beans, not drying) is 60 days, and this is very important for my planning.
60 days puts me at mid-August, which will free up this side of the bed for fall planting at the end of August/early September. The peppers will probably stay until the first frost, and so nothing will go in that side unless I have some fairly advanced seedling started, but they would need to be at least half-way to maturity. Possibly rutabaga, which I found over-wintered well this past spring, or maybe some kale in 6″ x 6″ pots.
Above is a picture of another spot where I grew peas and they have been removed. To the left are the last of the pepper transplants, right after a very unsuccessful carrot crop (they all bolted). That particular seed I will try again in the fall, as it is a very pretty carrot! I tried succession planting peppers this year, but that was a poorly conceived course of action. Since they take so long to mature and will continue producing peppers until frost, think it is better to get them all out at once and just preserved whatever excess I have.
Back to the peas: I again worked in compost and planted some rare dry bean seeds – Monachelle di Trevio and Tuvaglieda beans, both from Italy. I am growing other beans for drying, as we really enjoy them cooked and in soups. Plus, these (and the others) are very beautiful. Since these are runner beans, I am going to build a better trellis for them. The drying beans usually take longer to harvest (90 days or so), so this bed may stay as is until the fall frost, or I might get some spinach growing near the end of September.
Below are two beds that need the peas to be cleaned out. You can see how they are dying. By the way, we have 11 pounds of peas in the freezer, and ate at least another 3-4 pounds fresh in dinners. We are very happy with that!
Above there are peas on the left and peppers on the right. Below there are peas on the left and tomatoes on the right. These are the beds I shared about in Experiments in Efficiency (part 2), actually.
With the peppers I am going to plant more bush beans, this time Royal Burgundy. This will free the bed up for fall planting. With the tomatoes I am going to seed some purple hulled pinkeye cowpeas. This is a new one for me, but I have gotten them from the farmer’s market and they are delicious. The harvest on these is 70 days, so I will be able to use this part of the bed for fall planting.
In theory, I can use it for fall planting.
The only caveat is this: the sun will start to track down to the south (to the right in the picture), and so those tomatoes will start to shade anything I seed there. Plants will again strain and lean to the south, which is again why those tomatoes should have been transplanted on the left instead of right. I will have the same problem with the peppers, too, now that I think of it. Well, that is how it goes when you are learning…
I do have 2 other beds that peas are getting cleaned out of, and in those I will be growing more Haricort Vert bush beans, as well as some lettuce and chard.