starting a new pea crop now? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread


we have a square foot garden that used to have a security light over it (an accident of location--the best soil on the property happened to be located near the electric pole). I had the electric company take the light down because I didn't like the light pollution. I wanted to see the stars. My husband suspected that the light might have scared the deer away from the garden...he may be right. For the first time, this year, we've had peas munched down by deer. I'm going to go to archives for advice on deer (it's never been a problem before with the garden even though there are plenty of deer around) but I'm wondering if a new pea crop (in a different location) can be started now. We live in extreme northern MN, though it has been very very hot the last few days. I want to plant snap peas (type sugar ann, 52 days). I know they prefer cold but I'm feeling desparate...I would like peas this year. I'm hoping to plant a crop right away, and if possible, another crop to hit the cooler fall weather.

thanks in advance.

-- Cathy in MN (, June 26, 2001


Peas like cooler soil temps, and when I lived in Puerto Rico the only way I could get peas to grow was to keep their feet cool. I accomplished this by planting them in white paper mulch. The white paper reflects a lot of the sun and cools the soil temp down a LOT.

You could try mulching with white paper - you can usually get bags of it from offices from their shredding machines - but you might need to keep an eye on it and pull the mulch back as soil temps drop normally with the approaching fall/winter or they might get too cold.

-- Sojourner (notime4@summer.spam), June 26, 2001.

The light would deter varmits. It also helps promote longer photosenthysis periods for the plants. I never really plant by the "rules" in my SFG. What have you got to lose except a few seeds and by protecting it as Mel Bartholemew suggested in his OG published SFG update in 2/96, you may get that crop.

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (, June 26, 2001.

Cathy, we have the second highest deer population for Missouri counties and have them all over--including one in the front field this evening. We couldn't keep deer away from our garden and fruit trees, some of which were only 20' from the house, until we fenced the yard and started letting one of the Pyrs live in the yard. Of course then, I had to come up with something to keep the PYR out of the garden but at least he didn't eat the crops.

Someone suggested a clever arrangement of a light and lawn sprinkler activated by a motion detector to scare away the deer at night. Problem around here is they were getting close in broad daylight.

-- marilyn (, June 26, 2001.

I have ceased to have a problem with deer since I started leaving my border collie mix loose at night. (She is the only dog I own who can be trusted to stay home).

-- Sojourner (notime4@summer.spam), June 27, 2001.

Darn it, hit send too soon! I meant to say, just leaving your dogs loose is not a good idea if they will roam, which most any dog will.

I can't figure out how I got so lucky with Fidget, she will only go if one of the other dogs gets away from me, and then its almost a blessing because she will come when she's called no matter what and bring the other dog with her.

But free ranging dogs are a problem, no matter how much you love your pet other people shouldn't have to deal with them.

Wasn't meaning to make it sound like I thought letting your dogs run loose is OK, its not.

-- Sojourner (notime4@summer.spam), June 27, 2001.

Yes, Jay!! We suspected that the light increased photosynthesis too...The first year, that garden was incredible. But a friend of mine (who is an incredible gardener) said that she didn't think that was possible so I believed her...silly me...

hmm...maybe we'll put it back up... (yuk, though..., would prefer a motion sensor light or solar powered light or anything that doesn't cost alot of money)...we'll think on this.

thanks for the OG reference, will try to find that. And am going to try the white mulch for new crop and old one...

Hung some pie plates, had my husband mark the territory, spread deoderant flakes around garden and a few egg shells (found these suggestions in the archives)....looks like no deer damage last night.

thank you.

-- Cathy in MN (, June 27, 2001.

In our area lights, blood meal, human hair, commercial sprays, nothing has worked to keep away the deer. When my husband put together our "real" garden this year he installed an 8 foot fence around the whole garden. He also dug a 3 foot trench around the perimeter where we placed sheet metal roofing, than back filled to keep out gophers. Except for a mole that was fenced in somehow our veges are now critter free! We did have to cover our strawberry patch with netting - the birds were helping themselves and we weren't getting any berries. The weather has been 100 plus here and my snow peas are still producing but beginning to dry. I was thinking of trying to reseed for a new crop. Think they'll grow? Good luck to ya.

-- cindy (, June 28, 2001.

I know I posted this before and it really isn't about raising peas but about deer. Our garden is behind the barn where the deer and just about everything else roams. Hubby put up a motion dector hooked up to a light and a radio and we haven't lost anything to deer for years. We also use black plastic mulch and I don't think the deer like to walk on it. The plastic would not be good for the peas although it hasn't bothered ours. As I type I am watching a doe and her fawn grazing in the beams of the sunrise up on the hill! God bless!

-- Ardie from WI (, June 28, 2001.

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