Spring Preparations-Pea Fence

This morning promised to be mild and by early afternoon it was 51º.  I went out to the garden to see if the frost from earlier in the week had melted and flushed a small flock of White-throated Sparrows.  They were eating the seeds of some Calendulas that were in the last throes of the season.  The frost was indeed gone so I got out my spade and turned a short row of earth to prepare for next spring when I will plant my peas.  This was a job I should have done earlier but I put it off and now I am happy that I am able to work the soil this late in the year.  I like to do this early preparation because I plant my peas on St. Patrick’s Day and the earth is often so cold and wet then, it is impossible to work.  If I turn it over now and put up the pea fence, all I need to do in March is poke the pea seeds into the soil with my finger, sit back and wait for the bright green shoots to pop up.  As I left the garden the little flock of sparrows returned to the Calendulas.

This is the fence.  (Perpendicular to the camera, the fence in the background is at the perimeter of the garden.) I use 36″ wire and brace it on either end with a green plastic coated stake.  The peas will climb it in the spring and require little encouragement.  I pulled the leaves back over the earth to keep it from freezing deeply.  It’s an insulating blanket and the soil will be warmer when I plant my peas on St. Patrick’s Day.

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