THE U-Pick GARDEN will be closing August 20th. This will be the last year the garden will be open to the public. Next year I'll be operating as a CSA, supplying about 20 regular customers with weekly boxes. Thank you for your support over the last 8 years, but it's time to try something new.

To get a copy of my book, "How To Grow Vegetables In Sitka, Alaska" just give me a call....The books are $20 plus tax. If you live out of town and want me to mail you a copy, you can mail a check for $25.60 to:

Lori Adams
P O Box 6021
Sitka, Alaska

Down To Earth U-Pick Garden is located at 2103 Sawmill Creek Road in Sitka, Alaska. It is open usually from mid-June through late August. Hours are Monday-Saturday 12:00 to 6:30. On Farmer's Market Saturdays I am not open until 2:00. Children are welcome but may not run through the garden or chase the ducks. If you have any questions you can contact me, Lori Adams, at 907-747-6108 or 907-738-2241. My email address is

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Dirt Is Flying

I'm back from a week of cooking on the boat, and the sun is out, so I'm working outside like a mad woman trying to get the rest of the garden in.

 Here's a short tutorial of how to plant Snow and Snap Peas:

I only grow Snow and Snap Peas....the ones where you eat the whole pods. Shelling Peas have too much waste. Here at the u-pick garden we're all about VOLUME!

The earliest you should plant Peas outdoors here is mid-April. But if you haven't planted yours yet it's not too late.

Peas can be planted directly outdoors. Soak the Pea seeds in water for 24 hours.

In the mean time, get your bed prepared with a fair amount of composted organic matter, but make sure the soil is not too rich with Nitrogen.

 Have your supports in place BEFORE you plant your Peas.

For best results, use an inoculant. Especially if you've never planted Peas in the area you've prepared.

Here is a quote from the internet to explain why...

What Is a Garden Soil Inoculant?

A garden soil inoculant consists of a very special bacteria calledRhizobium leguminosarum. Yeah, it’s a mouthful.
Bag of Garden Soil Inoculant for Peas and BeansPeas are in the legumes plant family, which has a wonderful ability to be able to fixate nitrogen into the soil.
Without getting too technical, they take nitrogen that is naturally occurring in the air, and “trap” that useable nitrogen, through its root system, into the soil to use as fertilizer.
The Rhizobium leguminosarum bacteria are the guys that help facilitate this nitrogen fixing process. The bacteria get inside the legume roots, make a home there, and then create a situation where the legume roots fixate nitrogen into the soil.
The bacteria is naturally found in soil everywhere, but not in large enough numbers to make a big enough impact with the legume roots. That’s why it is important for you to add inoculant to peas and other legumes to promote better growth and production.

Anyways... drain the water off of the Pea seeds.

And sprinkle the seeds with a small amount of inoculant.

Shake the jar until all of the seeds are covered.

I use rubber gloves when I plant inoculated Pea seeds. I don't know if it's necessary, but I just feel better using them.

Plant the seeds about 1-2 inches apart about 1 inch deep.

photo courtesy of the internet- my hands aren't that dry. I use lotion.

Cover the bed immediately with row cover, or the birds will dig up all of the seeds by the next morning.

You're going to have to trust me on this one....I'm speaking from experience.

Soon your peas will be sprouting up out of the ground.

Once they are firmly established you can remove the row cover.

The Pea tunnel:

For best results, pick Snow Peas while they are still flat and tender and the peas inside them are still tiny. 

Pick Snap Peas when they are slightly plump which makes them crisp, crunchy, and juicy.

If the pods get large and tough you can snap off the stem off sideways and peel the attached strings away and blanch the pods in boiling saltwater for 1-2 minutes and they get really tender again.

Pea pods are SO delicious....

I can't wait until this summer so I can get me some!!!

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