What Seeds are Best for Early-Season Plantings?

Learn What Johnny’s Selected Seeds Recommends:

By Guest Blogger: Joann Matuzas, from Johnny’s Selected Seeds

Peas and fava beans are the first seeds planted in my garden when the soil is workable. Both seeds thrive in cold, damp weather. When I moved to Maine an old-time farmer told me you “plant your peas and pay your taxes on the same day.” It has worked for me for the last five years.

The key to growing strong bean and pea plants is to use inoculant at planting time. Inoculant is a beneficial bacteria that helps the roots bind nitrogen resulting in stronger plants with higher yields. It is easy to use and inexpensive. I put the inoculant in a zip lock bag and then roll the peas or beans in it as I am planting.

I like to trellis my peas to conserve space, make picking easier and to add a vertical element of interest to the garden. I found a great trellis design in Eliot Coleman’s “Four Season Harvest” book. You take two 8 foot 2″ x2″ posts (or 3 for a longer trellis) and sharpen them to a point at one end and drive them about 1 1/2 feet into the ground 5 feet apart. Thread the trellis down the two (or three) posts and then thread the trellis through a crossbar that is secured on top of the uprights. By the Fourth of July you will be harvesting peas.

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