Get dirty, have fun and grow more food with great gardening tips from real-life gardeners.
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.
Our popular Vegetable Garden Planner can help you map out your garden design, space crops, know when to plant which crops in your exact location, and much more.
Need crop-specific growing information? Browse our Crops at a Glance Guide for advice on planting and caring for dozens of garden crops.
Watch more videos on growing food and other self-reliance, DIY topics on our Wiser Living Videos page.
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.