Did you know you can plant peas in rain guttering under cover, and it will keep them safe from mice and ensure an early start to your crop? Growing peas in guttering is quite simple. You’ll need:
• Standard house rain guttering
• A hacksaw
• Multi-purpose potting soil
• A protected environment (for instance, a cold frame, greenhouse, or even a sunny windowsill)
To get started, first cut your guttering into manageable sections (they’ll be heavy when full of potting soil!). Fill the guttering halfway with potting soil, and then sow your pea seeds about 1 to 2 inches apart. Fill up the guttering with more potting soil. Place the guttering on a bench in a greenhouse, hoop house, or cold frame, and water thoroughly.
The seedlings can be transplanted when they reach about 2 to 4 inches tall. Use a spare piece of guttering to make a furrow just the right size for your seedlings. Transfer your plants by carefully sliding them out of the guttering. You can divide them into smaller sections to make this easier, and slide each section out with your fingers. After the plants are in, firm down the edges and water well to settle them in.
And that’s it! Learn more about growing early peas in this video.
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Photo by: Fotolia/Vladyslav Siaber
Shelley Stonebrook is MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine’s main gardening editor. She’s passionate about growing healthy, sustainable food and also runs Stonegrass Farms Soap Co. in her spare time. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.