Peas: Productivity Versus Growing Space

This has been an interesting side shoot from my harvest count project. In the spring I started a tidy five square feet of shelling peas, I have been diligently keeping track of all the pods harvested and almost ironically I got exactly five cups of shelled peas, that’s one cup of shelled peas per square foot of garden! The other fringe benefit of growing peas is all the lovely salad leaves but I didn’t exclusively keep track of the pea leaves I was harvesting they just got mixed into the miscellaneous greens count. This seemed to be a slow year for growing anything, I didn’t even have any peas sprout until May and the peas occupied their growing space for about three months, in other years I was able to get peas started earlier and produced earlier too. There seems to be a common theme out there in the food garden world, that if you pinch back the growing tips of peas they will produce all summer long, this has never worked for me and I think I have tried about every variety of shelling peas under the sun! Without any consistent success, by pinching out, I was sometimes able to get a second smaller harvest but not always. Next year I am going to try under planting my pea plants with new pea seeds and see if that works to bring up my peas per square foot?

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