A dozen peas plants growing tubes
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Veggie Bites – Experiment with Pea Seeds

… I noticed that the experiment I had done with my pea seeds has been successful. As I continue to watch every gardening show I can find, one of the segments recommended an interesting way to start peas. Starting them before planting them out does prevent those blasted chipmunks from eating the seeds.

Greetings fellow gardeners, 

Oh, my goodness it is like summer out there. I am hardening off lots of tomatoes and planting out some annuals that I just had to have at my last nursery visit. It is very hot so if you are planting be aware of that; water everything well and be aware that some plants may wilt for a while.

While checking the progress of my rhubarb and the beans I had planted, I noticed that the experiment I had done with my pea seeds has been successful. As I continue to watch every gardening show I can find, one of the segments recommended an interesting way to start pea seeds. Starting them before planting them out does prevent those blasted chipmunks from eating the seeds.  I took several cardboard toilet paper tubes, filled them with good soil and planted a seed in each one. They are growing well, and I can plant the entire unit, tube and all, wherever I want them. The tube will break down over time.

Peas in Tubes

Tomatoes in a pot

Now let’s plant a tomato in a pot. I will need a very large pot because tomatoes should go into as large a pot as you can get. Also needed is some good soil, compost, a trowel, a toilet paper roll, an empty two-liter pop bottle, a tomato cage, an alyssum, marigolds, straw and a tomato seedling. I am using a favourite of mine that I call Polish Raspberry. 

The first thing to do is to make sure that the pot is filled with a mixture of good soil and compost. Dig a hole that is deeper than the pot containing your seedling and fill the hole with water. When you plant your seedling the first third of the stem should be in the ground. Roots will form along the buried stem and it will add to the stability of your plant. Next cut a toilet roll in half then slit the half so that it can go all the way around the base of your tomato. This is your cutworm collar. Cutworms love tender tomato seedlings; they curl around the base to suck the juices and then the plant topples over. They cannot curl around the cutworm collar. Next cut the base off a two-liter pop bottle and place the bottle top side down.

You will be able to water the tomato roots directly using this tool. I planted a white alyssum at the front of the pot to attract aphid predators and pollinators and a marigold or two to attract beneficial insects that will help my tomato. Put a tomato cage around the tomato for added support and add some straw as a mulch on any areas that are bare. The mulch will prevent any dirt from splashing up onto the tomato leaves.

  This sweet little mess will look better each week.

It is hot! The sun is strong and there is little indication of rain. Just as we had to be careful of the frost, now we must be aware of that heat and strong sun.  Try to do most of your planting when it is cloudy and water regularly.  This is such a gorgeous time of year, so enjoy your week. Judith. Contact Judith through her Website https://www.lapisdragonarts.com/