Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Peas and carrots really do go together like peas and carrots

We get very little rain here in San Diego so it makes sense to take advantage of it when we have it by putting in some seeds before it starts raining. That's what I did yesterday and plan to do today too. I love our tall planter boxes because it makes it very easy to plant seeds and maintain the plants without having to kneel or squat which is very uncomfortable for me due to my chronic and severe lymphedema (very large leg).

The planter box prepared for seeds
I added some compost to the soil and then looked in my trusty Gardener's A-Z Guide to Growing Organic Food. I love this book because it is a wealth of information about which plants work well together, which ones don't, what the nutrient requirements are and much more about how to grow food successfully. I wanted to plant peas and carrots together but I was unsure if they really do go together like the old saying. It turns out they do, they are good companions in a vegetable garden.

My very well used favorite garden book
Both peas and carrots require lower nitrogen than many vegetable plants so I went with an all purpose fertilizer. The brand I have for that right now is Dr. Earth which is a great organic brand but I rotate between several, including FoxFarm and E.B. Stone.

I worked in a heaping cup of this fertilizer into the top couple inches of soil before planting my seeds 

This is my first real attempt at growing carrots and we have some gorgeous varieties from Seed  Savers Exchange

The general rule when planting seeds is to put them in at about twice the depth as the size of the seed
I poked shallow holes in for the peas and spaced them a couple inches apart on either side of a trellis. The carrot seeds are very small so they don't need to be planted very deep at all. For those I just drug my finger across the soil to create a very shallow trench to put my seeds in and then basically just pressed the soil on top of the seeds.

Carrot seeds are very small, I put many seeds in and will thin them as they sprout and grow
I got the seeds planted just in time for it to start raining. 

Our banana tree is very happy about rain
Gidget is not at all happy about rain
I'm going to plant more seeds before it starts raining again. Luckily we don't get the kind of monsoonal rains that some people do around the country so I am not worried about my seeds getting washed away or water logged, they'll just get gently and evenly watered which is perfect.

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