Sweet Peas (The Other Kind)
We got more precious wonderful rain today, probably at least an inch. Because of last week's warm dry conditions, I was ready to turn the irrigation system back on (it's mostly been off since early December), but today's rain means at least another week of freedom from our water company.
Winter 2009-2010 has been exactly the right winter weather for growing peas. Last year nearly every day of January was 80F (26 C), and February was not much better. Peas don't like 80F. They like 60F (15 C). This year, they got it, and rewarded us with some wonderfully sweet and tender peas. The flowers are identical to ornamental sweet peas, minus the bright colors and the irresistible fragrance.
I usually plant varieties that stay short, about 18" (45 cm). This year I found a variety that claimed to get tall, but not too tall, to about 36" (91 cm). They're a little taller than advertised, but manageable. I used the supports that in summer support tomatoes. They worked great. I also planted some of the 18" tall variety, but they are lost somewhere under the taller ones.
The Koi love tiny baby peas, but they don't get many. Mysteriously, most of the time the peas vanish on their three second trek from the pea-patch to the pond (the technical term for this is "finger blight"), so the fish must make do with koi food. Despite the rain, the koi were begging for food non-stop today. They like the rain, too.