Harvest Monday, April 21, 2014 – Peas Seedlings Update

This is a very short post, actually it is more a note to myself for future seed starting (I am at the stage of my life where everything must be written down or it will be forgotten). In my April 14, 2014 post, I mentioned experimenting with soaking pea seeds also comparing starting seeds in 4-inch pot versus cell pack.

Since seeds of different varieties will germinate at different rate, for consistency, I used seeds of the same variety from the same package for both the unsoaked and soaked planting.

Below are the results.

Snow peas seedlings (06340)

Seedlings from unsoaked seeds, 5 days to germinate.

snow peas seedlings (06341)

Seedlings from soaked seeds, 3 days to germinate.

The difference in germination between the unsoaked seeds and soaked seeds is 2 days.
Conclusion: Not worth the effort, staying with unsoaked seeds.

4-inch pot versus cell pack: the first few days of growing there was no difference, however as the seedlings grew, the ones in the 4-inch pots appear stronger and healthier. Will need to bump up the ones in the cell pack to 3- or 4-inch pots if not transplanted to the garden in a few days.
Conclusion: Future seed starting for peas will be in 4-inch pots but 6 seeds per pot instead of 8.

∞ ∞ ∞

I so need to get into the garden to do some spring cleaning, fertilize the strawberries and garlic, prepare the beds for direct sowing and the transplants, but my inner voice is telling me not to venture out until I am fully recovered and this time I decided to listen (early in the month I chose to ignore my inner voice, went out on a windy day and suffered a set back, the high pollen count is not helping either. Reason I am still not up to par).  

Hope the weather has stabilized. It was T-shirt on Monday winter coat on Wednesday and freeze warning for Wednesday and Thursday nights not to mention waking up to snow covered ground on Wednesday (April 15) morning.

I should (hope to) be in fine shape by the end of this week and ready to get the garden going.

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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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60 Responses to Harvest Monday, April 21, 2014 – Peas Seedlings Update

  1. Karen says:

    I always love visiting my scientist gardener to see how your experiments are doing. 🙂 I’m transplanting tomato seedlings into pots from their cell packs today.

  2. Maureen says:

    I wondered how the seedlings were coming along. Bigger cell, fewer seeds – ready for the ground. I love growing peas. Probably because I could stand in the garden and eat them one after the other until I make myself sick.

  3. daphnegould says:

    An experimenter after my own heart. I love to do experiments too. Though I always start peas outdoors. And sometimes soaking gives them that extra quick start. But again it probably isn’t worth it. I certainly didn’t do it this year.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Daphne,
      I use to direct sow my peas and always did well until these last few years when the bird population in my neighbourhood soared, wonder if it has something to do with my neighbor’s bird feeders?

  4. You have made some good points. At the farm I go to, the small seed pots are used and, yes, we sometimes have to transplant them into larger pots anyway. I do find the smaller pots produce a very small, fragile plant that sometimes is difficult to handle and then gets damaged in the process.

  5. Sophie33 says:

    I also grow peas from scratch. I also soaked some & unsoaked some. I had not a big difference either! Over here the weather was also very different each day. A few days ago, it was only 11°C. yesterday, a lot of wind & 18°C & today, 25°C! Good luck with it all! xxx

  6. I grew some peas last year too. It took me about a week even though I used the soaked one. I guess it might have to do with the seeds I bought.

  7. Eva Taylor says:

    I would have thought soaking would help more than it actually did, thanks for doing the experiment Norma. We have yoyo temperatures here too and hopefully we’re done with the snow .

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      I would think so. For control purposes, I used the same pea variety from the same package for both the soaked and unsoaked planting, should update my post with this info as “days to emerge” varies depending on variety.

  8. Michelle says:

    I haven’t tried soaking pea seeds before, it’s good to know that I needn’t bother. i always start my peas in individual paper pots and then set them out on the garden before the roots grow through the paper too much.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Michelle,
      I should look into making paper pots, is it difficult and time consuming? I have read about “soil block” also and wondered if it is worth the effort.

  9. Yo Yo temperatures here, too. I’m glad someone is experimenting…I just popped old and new seeds into the ground…some are sprouting and some aren’t. I’ll wait and see if the old seed was still viable and if not, go get new seed or seedlings. That’s about as far as my experimentation ever goes other than the general experimentation with having so much shade! 😉 Hope this finds you feeling much, much better Norma!

  10. Good to know that there isn’t a big difference pre – soaking the seeds. Sure hope you feel better soon. Pollen is terrible here in CA too. I’ve read that you should eat local honey to help with allergies. Do you take anything?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Sandra,
      I know about the local honey, but I don’t have a sweet tooth and would have problem swallowing honey everyday. I take allergy medicine which helps.

  11. Norma, I think I read somewhere that it’s recommended to soak bean and pea seeds if you’re going to direct plant in the garden. We’ve never done it though, and if it’s only a saving of a couple of days, I’m not sure it’s worth the effort either! 🙂

  12. mac says:

    Hope you feel better. I’ve always soaked my peas, maybe I shouldn’t do that anymore if it doesn’t make that much difference.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Mac,
      Thanks, I am feeling better but not as fast as I want.
      If you soak your peas and are successful then I think you should continue. Your climate and soil are so very different from mine, I believe it is drier, am I correct? If so then soaking the seeds would be a good idea.

  13. wok with ray says:

    I didn’t even know that there is such thing as soaking the seeds before planting. I am such an ignorant when it comes to gardening. Thank you for sharing the knowledge. Hope you have a wonderful week, Norma! 🙂

  14. This interested me. Some of my seeds for legumes, including sweet peas (the flowers) and black garbanzo beans specifically called for soaking. When the package said to soak them I soaked them. Some things are very slow to come up: I planted scarlet runner beans twice in the same spot because nothing happened for a couple of weeks. Then they all came up. As for tomatoes, I started seedlings in cardboard egg cartons. Almost every seed germinated, but when I transplanted them to larger (not large) pots they have been slow to put on heft and leaves. I’m hoping to put them in the ground soon, but I may have to wait until May. Meanwhile the tomato (not from seed) I put in the ground in February is taking over its side of the garden, full of blooms and green tomatoes. Getting a two-day gain on germination makes my impatient self happy.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Sharyn,
      Did you remove or at least slit the egg carton before placing the seedlings into larger pots? If you are successful with soaking seeds then I think you should continue. Sounds like your garden is doing wonderfully well.

      • I didn’t. There were already drainage holes in the bottom of the egg carton and I figured it would biodegrade from heavy watering.

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Sharyn,
        The egg carton is biodegradable but it takes a while because it is so dense, in the meantime the tender and fragile seedling roots are struggling to penetrate the egg carton reason they are not doing well, that’s my theory.

      • Some of them are doing well now and most are spending a little time outside to harden off. I hope to put some in the ground soon. Thank you for your suggestions.

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Sharyn,
        You are welcome. Glad to learn the seedlings are doing well now.

  15. annie says:

    Wonderful of you to share your gardening experiment outcome with us…we just learned it all from you:) Thank you! Here’s wishing you beautiful spring time and hope you feel better to enjoy it too:)

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Annie,
      I love sharing my experiments, the successes as well as the failures. Thanks, I am feeling a lot better today and hoping to be able to do some garden work this weekend.

  16. ChgoJohn says:

    I so enjoy reading about your experiments, Norma. You’re so thorough and we all learn from your experiences. I think you’re wise to take it easy until you feel better. With the weather so unpredictable, you could easily face another setback. Do continue to take care.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello John,
      Thanks for your lovely compliments, making me blush.
      I am feeling a lot better today compared to yesterday and I do hope to get into the garden the end of the week. Pea seedlings need to get into the ground.

  17. There definitely does not seem to be much difference between soaked and unsoaked seeds, but at least you gave it a shot!

    Choc Chip Uru

  18. Kristy says:

    Wishing you a speedy recovery Norma! This weather has not made it easy this year. I’ve been sick more times this winter/early spring than I can remember in a long time. And I think it’s impressive you’re just now hitting the stage where you have to write everything down to remember it – I’m there already. 😉

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kristy,
      Thanks, I am feeling a whole lot better today. Sorry to learn that you had health problem as well. This has been a brutal winter, hopefully we will all have a lovely and healthy summer and rest of the year as well.

  19. hotlyspiced says:

    What a savage winter you have had. I do hope that’s the last of the snow for this season, Norma and the very last freeze warning – enough is enough! That was an interesting experiment and at least you now know you needn’t bother soaking pea seeds. I hope you recover speedily from your sickness xx

  20. I always cheat and buy seedlings, but your wealth of information and experience is really motivating me to start from seed. I’d save a lot of money, and I think I’d also get a lot of satisfaction from it. This was really good information – I would have thought soaking the seeds would have made a much bigger difference!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Susan,
      I start from seeds because the nurseries do not carry the varieties I plant. Depending on ones climate, 2 days could make a big difference, for my area it is not worth the effort.

  21. Jody says:

    Thanks for sharing this experiment! The knowledge is helpful.

  22. What an interesting experiment, we enjoy cooking with peas. Wishing you a fast recovery and a good weekend!

  23. Hi Norma,
    I’ve always thought that i didn’t have a green thumb and I’ve stuck with plants that thrive and will do well no matter. But reading your post teaches me that it’s all about experimentation and learning from what doesn’t do well.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Mireya,
      Glad you are going to garden out of your comfort zone. I try something new every year and give it 2 seasons, some things work others fail. But I have fun nevertheless. Keep in mind it is not your green thumb it has to do with the environment, soil pH and climate.

  24. Juliana says:

    Norma, thank you for doing all the work and letting us know the best way to go…I have seeds for edible flowers that I want to plant…so no soaking.
    Hope you are having a beautiful week 😀

  25. Hello Norma, this was like a huge science experiment just minus the hypothesis. I never knew that some seeds needed to be soaked before planting. Hmmm. I might have to take a screen shot of my last purchase of microherbs seeds package and maybe you can help me sort out some the Chinese characters. Have you ever planted microherbs before? On a side note did you read the article of a 6th grader who did a science experiment watering 2 identical plant for 2 weeks. With one of the plants she used tap water and one of the plants she used tap water that had been microwaved and then cooled. Guess what? The plant that was watered with the microwaved tap water that was cooled died and the plant that was watered with the regular tap water did great. How scary is that ?! Don’t reheat your tea in the microwave…lol Have a super weekend. BAM

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Bam,
      I will try to help with the Chinese characters. No I have not planted any micro herbs. The microwave experiment is scary. Personally I am not a big user of microwave use it only occasionally for reheating.

  26. Pingback: Harvest Monday, April 28, 2014 | Garden to Wok

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