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Old April 4, 2013   #1
tam91
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Default Sugar Snap Peas - when to plant?

We're having such an odd (cold) spring this year, I'm not sure how to decide when to plant my sugar snap peas. Last year was a very warm spring, I had them in Mar 23. Not this year!

How should I decide?
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Old April 4, 2013   #2
JoParrott
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I have had mine planted for awhile- I started them inside and put them in ground about 3 weeks ago- they are doing fine. They get wiped out with the heat, so timing is critical.
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Old April 4, 2013   #3
kath
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A phenology chart I found suggests that peas be planted when the forsythia & daffodils bloom, the redwing blackbird females return and/or the chickadees build their nests. Also, if you have a soil thermometer, the soil temp preferred is 40 - 55 degrees and the preferred air temp 60 - 65.

Personally, I put the English peas in a couple weeks ago and was going to plant the snap peas today or tomorrow because I read they should be planted about 10 days later than the shelling peas. My zone might be warmer than yours, though.

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Old April 4, 2013   #4
Riceloft
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We have like 2 weeks where temps are in that range around here. We go from Winter, to cold winterish spring, to 2 weeks of mild spring, to full on summer around here.
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Old April 4, 2013   #5
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Kath has you on the right track. Soil temp at planting depth (1 to 2") is the best indicator. Your soil moisture profile really decides the depth you need. Heavier soils are cooler and wetter so you would plant shallower while light soils will be warmer and drier so you would plant deeper. I prefer one and one-half inch depth myself.

When you see the temp getting to 50 degress with good moisture at your chosen depth you should be good to go.
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Old April 4, 2013   #6
tam91
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Well I think it was 20 degrees at night a day or two ago, so I was thinking not yet. Air temps only in the 40s, so I'd think the soil would still be too cold.

I wonder if my kitchen instant read thermometer would work for the soil temp? Not sure if it goes that low, I'll have to stick it outside or something and see.
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Old April 4, 2013   #7
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Plant them now and let them decide when to sprout.
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Old April 4, 2013   #8
Dutch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tam91 View Post
We're having such an odd (cold) spring this year, I'm not sure how to decide when to plant my sugar snap peas. Last year was a very warm spring, I had them in Mar 23. Not this year!

How should I decide?
Hi Tracy,
I just dug a trench to plant some asparagus and the ground is workable here.
I am going to plant some peas later today.
Dutch
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Old April 4, 2013   #9
RebelRidin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tam91 View Post
Well I think it was 20 degrees at night a day or two ago, so I was thinking not yet. Air temps only in the 40s, so I'd think the soil would still be too cold.

I wonder if my kitchen instant read thermometer would work for the soil temp? Not sure if it goes that low, I'll have to stick it outside or something and see.

The soil temp will be warmer than the air temp during the day due to solar heating. If you have a reasonably sunny location and the soil is not too wet to work I would expect that Scott and Dutch are right, you are good to go.
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Old April 4, 2013   #10
tam91
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OK, thanks. I had heard that if the soil was too cool and wet, they might rot.

The lovely man that gives me the garden spontaneously decided to enlarge it (yay!) so as soon as he finishes, I'll probably be able to put them in
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Old April 4, 2013   #11
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while peas like cool weather they don't germinate all that well in cold soil. add to that really cold temps will kill them when small. then they die when it gets into the mid 80's. it ain't easy!

last spring i put them out (i start them inside) around 4/7 and we had 2 nights in a row drop to 24 degrees. they all died even some cabbage plants died.

i soak them over night then plant in promix inside. they are out in the sun now but i take them in at night. it's been really cold this march and even april is cool so i am waiting another week at least. the problem is they get long and throw tendrils around each other so starting them now may be better than 8 -10 days ago. i had poor germination so i started another batch yesterday. the seed is from 2006 so i'm not surprised i got 8-10 to grow from 30 seeds.

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Old April 4, 2013   #12
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Quote:
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OK, thanks. I had heard that if the soil was too cool and wet, they might rot.

The lovely man that gives me the garden spontaneously decided to enlarge it (yay!) so as soon as he finishes, I'll probably be able to put them in

Lucky you! The best peas I ever grew were in garden soil newly freed from turf.
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Old April 4, 2013   #13
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I am incredibly lucky re. the garden. It's at a farm down the road - not only do they let me use the space, last year they triple tilled it and added a bunch of mushroom compost too! It's wonderful soil, full sun, couldn't ask for a better space.
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Old April 5, 2013   #14
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I always plant when our forysthia blooms and they always come up. Mine have been up for a couple of weeks now and we've had a colder than normal winter/spring, too.
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Old April 5, 2013   #15
tam91
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I don't think my forsythia is even thinking about it yet - I'm just barely getting crocuses.
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