As soon as the peas begin to make their third pair of leaves, they
will be ready for sticking. Even dwarf peas do better with a little
support––a few twigs are all that is necessary. Before sticking, hoe the
ground beside the rows and remove any plants, as they will be more difficult
to get at when the sticks are in. Don't cross the two rows of sticks at the
top, as this usually makes the plants get tangled in a mass; stick them
firmly in the ground––upright. Trim the tops and put the twiggy trimmings in
at the bottom by the larger sticks, so that the young plants can grasp them
first before climbing on to the sticks.
Potato planting was dealt with in the March Guide
(page 6). April is the month for planting varieties other than "earlies".
Don't forget to sow them little and often, if you like them.
Sow very thinly and there will be no need to thin the seedlings. A useful
idea is to sow a few radish seeds in the drills along with onions, carrots
and beet. Plant one seed every 6 in. or so along the drills; they grow
quickly and show you the line of the drill before the other seeds germinate.
Hoeing and weeding can then begin earlier.
The Ministry's cropping plan provides for inter-cropping
three rows of dwarf peas with two rows of spinach, if you like it. Gardeners
on light soils, however, find that summer spinach runs to seed so quickly
unless they kept it well watered.
Some wartime gardeners may be a bit confused yet about spinach,
spinach beet and seakale beet. Spinach may be sown both in spring (March to
May) and late summer (August). Drills should be 1 in. deep and 15 in. apart.
In autumn or early winter, spinach beet supplies leaves that take the place
of spinach in autumn or early winter. It is also known as "Perpetual
Spinach" and some people prefer it. The drills should be 18 in. apart. You
can sow it in April and again in July.
Seakale beet is also known as "Silver Beet" or "Swiss Chard." It is
a dual-purpose vegetable. The leaf stems are large and white, but the leaf is
green. You can cook the green part of the leaves as spinach and the white
stalks and mid-ribs, stripped of foliage, may be cooked like seakale. You
can sow this is in April too––drills 1 in. deep and 18 in. apart. Later on,
you thin the seedlings as you would with spinach or spinach beet. With the
last two, you thin out to 3 in. apart in the first instance, removing
alternate seedlings after about a fortnight. With seakale beet, the first
thinning should be to 4 in. apart, finally leaving about 8 in. between
see Mulch, Intensive & Lazy
Gardening for alternative planting and growing methods requiring less
space, less seed, less weeding, less watering, etc.
[ed. note] earthly pursuits
urges everyone to avoid "artificials" (chemical fertilizers) if possible and
practice sustainable, organic gardening.