Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Finding a spot & Germinating

Finding a place in your garden, or if you don't, finding a sunny spot. Basically in a garden you don't necessarily have to plough the earth, since that is a big hassle. You can just mow the grass really short and/or burn some paper on the spot to kill off the grass. Then (after the earth has cooled) you can simply take a stick and poke holes into the ground for each pea, leaving about 5 centimetres between them.

If you don't have a garden, you can use the bases of 3 litre milk containers. Cut the top off (ie, the part that includes the handle, upwards). You can grab leaves from a local park and stuff the base with that, then on top of that add a layer of soil. Perhaps you'll need to 'borrow' a bit of soil from the local park for that, if you can't get any. It's certainly a drab day when you can't even have access to the basics like soil! Once done, apply the following instructions for the garden (sans the paper burning!!) to the container and find a spot by a window which gets the most light.

Back to the garden, you will get long grass there in the end and it'll compete with the peas a bit, reducing their return somewhat. But if you don't own a shovel or aren't inclined to digging over a patch of grassy ground (which, let's be honest, will be thickly matted with grass roots and hard to clear), then it's a way to get started right now!

You don't just put them in though. Put the dried pea seeds into a dish of water for about 12 hours. Don't leave it for longer otherwise the seeds sort of drown! Then find an old sock that you were going to throw out. Utterly soak the sock in some regular water then take the seeds from the dish and lay them on one half of the sock, then fold the other half of the sock over the top of them (note, the sock can be used for this multiple times - other sites will suggest using paper towels which, of course, you'd have to spend money on). You can check on them whenever you want, but it'll take about two days for the seeds to start sprouting. It's really satisfying to come back after an hour and see the white shoot of a seed having visible extended from the seed.

After they have made a shoot that's at least a few millimetres long, you can pop them into the holes you made in the garden. Pour water into each hole and cover it. Put something over the top as birds like to explore the hole for insects and they tend to pull the seed out. Laying newspaper down will be fine and it helps kill off the grass as well. Remove the newspaper after a five days or so. This way you don't necessarily have to fill each hole with dirt. Just water it again after you remove the newspapers.

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