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Pea Polyculture?  RSS feed

 
peter wheat
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Hi All,
      I'm almost ready to start planting some peas, and wondered if anyone had come accross any Pea Polyculture patterns? Ideally, something that would provide both support, protection and a yeild.  Any ideas welcome.

Thanks in advance.

Kind regards,

Pete.
 
Aljaz Plankl
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I will try peas with corn...
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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peas do wonderful with all kinds of lettuce, esp leafy ones..i buy  the mixed packages of lettuces and other mini or micro greens as they make such succulant salads, you know you can eat the pea tendrils and leaves too before they flower, they are so good on a sammich,
you can grow green onions and radishes or spinach with peas too..and when the pea patch is done, dig in some  potato pieces ..the peas feed the soil for the potatoes...when you harvest the potatoes..toss in some more spinach seed for a fall crop, or any of the other items mentioned (lettuce or more peas) as they'll make a lovely crop for you again in the fall.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Good to know green onions work. I had read peas didn't get along with them, but never an explanation of why.

Plankl mentioned corn as a living trellis. Sunflowers are also mentioned often for the same purpose, and of course sunchokes are included. Sorghum, millet, and tree crops might also be worth looking into for that purpose, also.
 
Aljaz Plankl
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Nice one Brenda, thanks.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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myself i prefer not to grow peas or beans up corn, it makes it very very difficult to harvest the peas or beans..
 
Aljaz Plankl
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Well this is how i see it... i just sow radish, spinach and bush peas today. Peas will be eaten as salad and i will also use spinach all the time. Radish when ready... When time to plant corn, radish will be gone, peas and spinach will be used as mulch. Don't know if i will have to pull them out or what, i'll see... any suggestions? Anyway. I will sow corn and when it will be high enough i will sow bush beans and bush peas... Mostly for nitrogen and also for harvest. I will not use vine types as they will easily overgrown corn. Good plan?
 
Ken Peavey
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I plant my peas at 2" spacing.  Growth is too dense to allow coplanting.  I put the peas in a different place each season. 
 
Brenda Groth
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myself i also prefer bush beans, however, you do sacrifice some of the harvest with the bush beans, they are much easier to pick if you interplant them..

sounds like a good plan to me

also purple podded bush beans are easy for my old eyes to see...among the green leaves
 
                          
Posts: 40
Location: Portland Oregon
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Use whatever you have at hand to make a 4ft high open trellis the length of your bed.  Wood scraps, old pipe, branches, etc.  Use string to wind up and down the top and bottom of your structure in a WWW pattern.

As Plankl has said plant radish, spinach next to the peas, in fact you could also plant carrots, celery, parsley and turnups also.  Pay attention to how quick you can harvest which plant and plan to replace those with hot summer plants.  And dont be afraid to plant closer then suggested by the information on labels. 

Finallly, plan on planting half the peas now and half in 2 or 3 weeks for continual harvesting.  Also, plan on planting hot season peas inbetween the cool season peas come summer time. Which is a good reason to ignor my advice about planting close together, you should be leaving room for the next crop of peas. 

I planted my first crop of peas almost two weeks ago, the soil temp. was 43 degrees but so far no sign of'em.  I'm getting worried.

Hank
 
Aljaz Plankl
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Mine are waiting under the snow, lol. We'll see.
 
paul wheaton
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I used to drive a pea stripper.  Kinda like a combine, but for fresh peas.  The pay was $4 per hour and all the peas you could eat. 

I also drove a swather for the pea harvest, and I drove a different kind of pea harvester that was like a huge factory on wheels. 

It was an 18 inch deep mat of pea vines as far as the eye could see.  Most folks that worked the pea harvest could never eat peas again cuz of the smell of pea slime frying on the hydraulic hoses.  That never bothered me.  I liked working the harvest and I liked the smells.  And there were a lot of pretty girls working the harvest. 

Lots of fun stories.  For another time.

15 years ago ... long before I ever heard of the words "permaculture" or "polyculture", I read over a hundred books on gardening.  I'm not much of a note taker, but I did write down a few things.

pea buddies:  carrots, radishes, corn, beans .... almost anything

pea enemies:  onions, carlic, gladiolas, potatoes

For soil pH, I have seven different ranges I wrote down from different books.  The lowest range is 5.6 to 6.5 and the highest is 6 to 8. 

Looking over some more notes:  apparently tomatoes and peas do extra well together. 


 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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thanks Paul, I probably ate some of those peas frozen that you drove the machinery over..i love frozen peas ....probably wierd, my husband prefers them canned..but then he has crappy teeth (fake).

i haven't put my peas in yet..lazy i guess..but we had snow last night
 
                          
Posts: 94
Location: Colorado
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I am going to try some field peas this spring, got the seed yesterday, waiting for the inoculate, then will be planting soon,
the suggestion to me was to plant thick and make a mat of them so they supported them selves,  and the hope was to plant winter wheat in the fall in the same ground,
(this is not "Permaculture" but "organic" would be interested in a ploy culture if was machine harvest able was not needed or wanted, or If I was not interested in harvest of the peas for seed,(such as haying),  (hope to raise enough seed for the next year), and the hope is to use the peas as a nitrogen building source,

I have heard using oats and peas and some other grass type crops (rye or triticale) to give the peas some thing to grow on, (this was hayed),
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
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Location: Oakland, CA
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Hm... so we have Brenda's direct observations that peas do well with green onions, and lots of writers listing onions & garlic as enemies of peas.

So I looked into it a little deeper, and it seems allium plants tend to stunt the growth of legumes. I know garlic & onions have been used as remedies for lots of llnesses; maybe the sulfur compounds form them kill rhizobium bacteria?

I wonder if green onions aren't in the ground long enough to have that effect? Fava beans aren't listed in the "bad companion" lists, and I wonder if they are immune somehow (maybe their rhizobium strains are more resistant?), or if the people compiling the lists had incomplete information.
 
                              
Posts: 461
Location: Inland Central Florida, USA
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I had also always read about not planting onions with peas or beans.

As a low companion to peas I usually plant lots and lots of carrots.  I usually grow lots of snow peas in the winter here.  In the summer I plant cow peas.

For a trellis I use sections of cattle panel stabbed into the ground in a zig zag pattern and tie them together for stability.  The snow peas will easily climb to 7 or 8 feet if they get the chance.  I try to plant them in different beds each winter.  I don't know of any good plants to have the snow peas climb up since few cool weather crops are tall growers.  Next winter I might just tie strings up to the bare crepe myrtles as trellises for the peas.  (last summer I had a few bean plants clime the crepe myrtles and I needed a ladder to harvest the beans :lol
 
                          
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Fedco sells a PVO mix for green manure.  Peas, vetch and oats.
from their catalog:
PVO Soil-Building Seed Mix OG Maine trials have shown peas-oats-hairy vetch to be a superior soil-building seed mix. In tests, this mix has created as much as 8000# biomass/acre at maturity. The oats come up first and are pulled down by peas, which are eventually pulled down by the smothering vetch. 4" mat of vegetation should be disked or mowed and incorporated in autumn. By weight, our mix is 71% peas, 15% oats and 14% vetch. Seed at 212#/acre, 5#/1000 sq ft. All three components are certified organic.

http://www.fedcoseeds.com/ogs/OGSorderItem.php?id=8251&OGSname=pvo
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
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Location: Oakland, CA
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revrick wrote:The oats come up first and are pulled down by peas, which are eventually pulled down by the smothering vetch. 4" mat of vegetation should be disked or mowed and incorporated in autumn.


Wow, that sounds like a great way to mulch a few acres at a time. But the part where the peas pull down the oats, and then the vetch pulls down and smothers the pea plants, presumably means this succession of cover crops doesn't produce any food directly, right? I think the idea in the original question was to harvest some peas, with other stuff growing with it in a neighborly way.

By the way, if you couldn't (or didn't want to) disk, I bet you could clear just enough space for pumpkins to establish themselves and then let the vetch go to seed. The seedlings wouldn't grow very quick until the canopy of pumpkin leaves died back. Maybe another small grain could even be sown at the right time, to keep the cycle going without buying any further legume seed.
 
Aljaz Plankl
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This spring i sow peas and carrots on the same bed at the same time. Carrot seed was broadcasted and peas were sown an inch apart. Peas gave a good crop, but carrots started to grow for real when we harvested the peas. Carrots are ready now. Salad is growing inbetween them.

For faster harvest of carrots i would need to space peas further apart?

What is your way for peas polyculture. What and when do you sow?
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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I'm trying peas with potatoes this winter, among many other options. We'll see how that goes.

One source says peas are a good companion to early potatoes, but a bad companion to late ones.
 
Raven Sutherland
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Location: MAINE
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tall growing peas like (sugar snap) need a really firm support
and i don't rule out using the strongest fence possible you can
get.

when grown an inch apart they do better because they shade one
another but still get plenty of sun by climbing
....just never deny them water -> ever!

you can have the most perfect stand of peas around but then
that ONE nasty spring wind storm comes along and severely
thrashes them.

here's a before and after example in pictures that turned
the crop over like a WAVE.




then picking your crop becomes a nightmare

lettuce and shade lovers or cool soil lovers like to be planted
right next to the row will  make use of all the excess water
you spray daily on the pea crop.

My peas always push up right thru the last spring snow.
 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
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