This spring I planted ‘Oregon Giant’ and ‘Super Sugar Snap’ peas on woven “fences” made using the long, straight sprouts from box elder stumps. I love finding uses for cutting down these weedy trees and this gives me the opportunity to cut more stump sprouts (and apple tree water sprouts) every year. I cut the sprouts in lengths of about 4 feet and shove about 6 inches or so into the soil. I arrange them diagonally in both directions about 3 to 6 inches apart, making overlapping X’s and weaving them back and forth. Just make sure you put the top end into the ground or they may actually re-root. Once the fence is set up, the tops can be trimmed to even it out if wanted.
This photo was taken in spring, but I’ll be using the same technique when I plant my fall peas. I think we got 3 pounds of pea pods and almost a pound of shelled peas from the 10-foot double row of ‘Oregon Giant’ peas. Yum! —Kathy Shaw, Neenah, Wisconsin
We usually have a hard time with peas down here in Florida. They just like it too cool for an extended period. Aren’t they one of the first things you far-north gardeners plant? When I got the first cold snap of the winter, I planted the ‘Magnolia Blossom’ snap peas that the rest of the Test Gardeners trialed last spring. Needless to say, they loved it. Great germination, still growing steadily. Some have had a bit of snail damage, and here’s the reason: My usual snail control is our great population of snakes, toads, and agama lizards. They apparently took a cruise to the Caribbean during the December cold spell, but they’re back working now. —Andres Mejides, Homestead, Florida