Harvest Monday, March 11, 2013 – Growing Pea Shoots in Windowbox + Ginger Update

Mother Nature sure messed up my week.

All the accumulated snow from the winter storms finally disappeared and I was waiting for the garden beds to dry out a bit before working the soil, figured around Thursday/Friday. But mother nature had other plans. She sent winter storm Saturn to visit on Thursday and he stayed until Friday leaving behind around 6 inches of snow (should not complain as we got away lightly, my daughter got about 16 inches, others over 24 inches).

Rather than getting my nose bent out of joint, decided to experiment with growing pea shoots in windowbox. (Read that it can be done and bought a few packs of organic snap pea seeds some time ago.)

Growing Pea Shoots

Sowed 4 rows of peas, 1 inch apart in a 30″ x 8″ windowbox,
covered with about ¼” of potting mix and watered well.

Not sure if I spaced the peas correctly, will find out once they germinate and grow. If too thick, I will thin. When the plants are about 7 inches tall, I will harvest about 3 – 4 inches of the top to encourage branching. Will continue to harvest every few weeks until the shoots are no longer tender (starting to get a bit chewy).

NOTE: I harvest my pea shoots for stir-frying, if harvesting for salad, the tip (2-3 set of leaves) including the tendrils, flowers and tiny pea pods are best.

I will document and photograph my peas progress and post details at a later date.

Growing Ginger

The last of the thicker ginger rhizome (started on 1/13) broke through the potting mix on 3/1/13
so did one of the thinner ginger rhizome.

The new shoot from the thicker rhizome is all light green (above photo left), the tip of the thinner rhizozme is reddish (above photo right).

Windowsill Garden

Scallion green from windowsill

I did manage a very small harvest, scallion greens from my windowsill. Cut into about 1 inch length (got 1 cup loosely pack) all went into a dish I will be posting on Friday.

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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

Visit Daphne’s Dandelions http://daphnesdandelions.blogspot.com/ for more Harvest Mondays

About Norma Chang

I am the author/publisher of 2 user-friendly Chinese cookbooks: "My Students' Favorite Chinese Recipes (updated edition)" and "Wokking Your Way to Low Fat Cooking" A gardener who enjoys cooking and eating and loves to think outside the box A garden volunteer at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden Conduct hands-on cooking workshops for teenagers Conduct cultural programs for children and family Conduct healthy cooking classes for adults
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47 Responses to Harvest Monday, March 11, 2013 – Growing Pea Shoots in Windowbox + Ginger Update

  1. Karen says:

    Mother nature hasn’t been kind to us either…but this week we should get some melting. Will you transplant any of your peas plants to harvest peas later or are they only for shoots.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Karen,
      No I will not transplant any of the windowbox peas plant later, don’t think it will work out well, going to direct sow in a few weeks for peas harvest.

  2. Barbie says:

    I think I have finally figured it out. YOU are the reason I keep trying to grow stuff in those boxes. LOL. I’ve tried all sorts of stuff and while no amazing sucesses, no huge failures either. Always something harvest – just not huge amounts.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Barbie,
      I do not have huge success with my windowboxes either but it is fun and I am always learning, one of these days I will figure out what is worthwhile and what is not.

  3. Annie says:

    Hi Norma, I just realized that you are actually going to gather/harvest the pea shoots= dou miao (which is quite expensive to buy in the UK’s China Town)….I will definitely follow your footstep here. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. It’s invaluable!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Annie,
      Yes I am harvesting dou miao. They are very expensive in New York also and the quality is not always ideal. Do let me know how it grows in your part of the world.

  4. I really need to grow my own ginger too. You are my inspiration, Norma.

  5. We had snow all day Saturday and all the back garden and fields are snow filled again. I am not doing an gardening this year as we will probably be moving so I shall live vicariously through you Norma! I love your experiments.


  6. Daphne says:

    Good luck on those peas. My favorite way to use them is in sandwiches, just like lettuce.

  7. Eva Taylor says:

    We didn’t get any snow from that storm, but we are getting rain…our temperatures rose to 12°C yesterday, it was gorgeous. I have a few hyacinths poking through and all the old snow hasn’t melted yet.
    The pea shoot sound great, I’m sure it will be perfect. I love the idea of the scallions, I have some in the fridge right now, I need to give this a try again (last one didn’t work out).

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      Hyancinths poking through, you are way ahead of us. Sun was in and out today, expecting whole day of rain tomorrow on top of soggy grounds, not liking it at all. Hope your scallion in container work out for you this time.

  8. I’m sorry to hear you’ve had rough weather! Hopefully a warmer spring is just around the corner for you. Snow pea shoots are a great idea – we must try them again this winter, I think we left it too late to plant last year…

  9. hotlyspiced says:

    It’s amazing that in Spring you are still getting so much snow. I hope that’s the last of it. Warm days of sunshine have to surely be on their way. Good luck with the pea shoots xx

  10. ChgoJohn says:

    The snow around here is going fast but quite a bit lingers in corners, out of the way of direct sunlight. I’ve a lot of work to do but the ground is still sopping wet. Your pea shoots, though, sure are a welcome sign, Norma. Spring is definitely on its way now. Let’s just hope Old Man Winter leaves quietly. We don’t need him to give us a parting shot in the form of a late snowstorm.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello John,
      No, we do not need a late snowstorm. Most of our snow is gone today, but the grounds are soggy and tomorrow promises to bring a whole day of rain, not liking it at all. I am really looking forward to harvesting pea shoots, hope I am successful.

  11. Eha says:

    Great: I feel I have two wonderful teachers : – first I read what you are doing and then follow up with Celia, since she lives in only a tad different climate about 100 km north of me 🙂 ! Have not tried the pea shoots: sure are on the list now!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eha,
      Celia a wonderful teacher, yes. Myself, no. How long is your list? How is you scallion coming along?

      • Eha says:

        [laughing] Norma, I am a typical Gemini: into everything in all sincerity!! List must be a couple of handwritten pages long looking accusingly at me from my bedside drawer. Had to feed an unexpected group of friends over one weekend: no way to the shops, so guess where the scallions went together with half of what was in the fridge 🙂 ! Result not too shabby!!

  12. tokyohamster says:

    Weather always throws us a curve ball when we think spring is right around the corner, huh? Your chives look great though! Your green thumb always amazes me, Norma!

  13. leduesorelle says:

    Brilliant idea to do pea shoots in the windowbox!

  14. Diana says:

    You got me excited planting peas again. Its not easy to grow peas here in tropics but even I don’t get peas and now you remind me that I can still harvest the shoots. Because I just sowed some and the germination was very good in partial shade. Thanks heaps.

  15. wok with ray says:

    Isn’t that always the case? Whenever we get so excited and prepared. . . Boom! Mother nature not willing have fun with us (sigh). Well, luckily you have the green thumb that many of us doesn’t have (including myself). I hope you are having a great week so far, Norma! 🙂

  16. Sophie33 says:

    Hi Norma, great post & great updates too! I want to do that too, sowing pea sheeds like this!

  17. I’m going to have to invest in a windowsill garden. I’m tired of buying herbs every week!

  18. mac says:

    I like to grow peas in container also, it’s much easier for me, because every time I sow peas in ground they won’t germinate for me or the birds beat me to it.

  19. Mother nature has not been kind lately. Where in your home do you keep your plants. You must have some great sunlight. Your peas seeds are measured out so symmetrically it looks like you used a ruler to get it exact. Happy planting you Norma and cant wait to read about your upcoming recipe.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Bam,
      My tender seedlings spend their days indoors on south facing windows. Peas are cool season crop, once they germinate they will spend their days outdoors and nights in the garage.

  20. juliana says:

    I look forward to see your peas, and for ginger I should give another try here, and this time I will make sure to keep the squirrels out of my pot.
    Hope you are having a wonderful week Norma 🙂

  21. Mother Nature has her ways 🙂 In may I’m going to visit my friend in Spain, in a small village and he told me that we’ll be working in a garden together a lot. I can’t wait. I like your blog so much, I’ll introduce him to it and hope I will remember some of your tips 🙂

  22. Love seeing the progress of your ginger. I was telling someone last week about what I’d learned from your blog regarding planting ginger and how long it takes to grow, and pointed her here, so I hope she’s visiting now. Spring just sprang on us here this weekend. It will be in the 70’s today after below freezing temps last week. Here’s hoping you get a thaw soon!

  23. Lrong says:

    Weather over here where I live is warming up really well… must be kind of tough for you to keep up with the winter storms even at this time of the year…

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