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Jeez! I really thought i was something special when I saw my Alaska peas all flowerey this morning. A closer look showed some tiny little pods! Yipeee!!
Already in the freezer?!...I think I just wilted. : l
Farmerdill - I would LOVE to sow peas earlier, but in every prior year that I have done so, the birds have eaten them as soon as they appear out of the ground.
Last year I took a chance with a late planting after losing two rounds to the birds, and they did okay. It then occurred to me to wait until the trees start to leaf-out. Evidently that's what was needed because very little bird damage has been done to this crop.
If I could figure out a way to cover the peas before they sprout that woud be a solution, but I have permanent trellises in place.
6aseeder - I purchased bird netting a couple of years ago, but after it entangled and killed a beautiful black snake, ensnared an Eastern King snake and a bird - I threw it out! The netting was purchased to protect a strawberry bed from birds. We decided to give up growing strawberries rather than risk any more animal entrapments.
I know what you mean about voles. They eat a good number of our sweet potatoes each year. They left the beans alone last year, so I'm thankful for that! I've read they don't like the smell of blood and that blood meal will deter them. I'm going to give this a try this year. I purchased the blood meal last year, but forgot to use it!
If you want, or need to thin peas, just cut off the top 5-6" and eat the pea shoots. They taste like a mild pea. Great in salads and stir-fries. I just discovered pea shoots are edible and next year I'll plant a bunch of peas just for the shoots.
gardadore - thanks for the tip about the straw. The birds don't eat the seeds, they eat the newly emerged pea shoots. I've also caught house finches eating the tops of our pea vines, which are about 3ft tall now.
Years ago I bought a roll of a kind of foil ribbon designed to discourage birds. You strung it all over and let it twist in the wind. One side was silver and the other a shiny red. Seemed to help. Aluminum pie pans can also work if you can stand the clatter. Punch a hole through and string them so they hit a post or fence. The shininess and the noise help detract birds.
With the straw you can at least cover the pea shoots lightly. I also use veil material (tulle) on taller plants, especially blueberry plants, as things don't tangle in it like they do with regular bird netting. It is easy to remove without catching in the branches. Maybe you could surround the peas with something like that from the fence? Just a thought!
My peas are barely one inch at this point and I am watching them like a "hawk" (bad pun) and adding straw each day to keep them from the birds. Once they are a few inches I usually don't have any more problems. Am going to plant some more today for successive harvesting.
"i use bird netting to deter birds and my biggest nemesis, voles. it seems to work"-6aseeder
Voles! I hate those things. They devoured almost 100 of my prized stargazer lilies and went through my sweet potatoes like they were going out of style.
I tried everything I could think of and was just about to give up on root crops and bulbs when I acquired a secret weapon: a Jack Russell terror (yes, that's terror, not terrier) and Scottie mix puppy. She's about a year old now and has brought me 7 dead voles that she digs up and kills.
I have not had a single issue yet this year. Thank you Humane Society Animal Shelters!
a jack russel terriorist would work but my garden is in a community plot. however, there has been a recent vole population crash there. i also happened to notice a red-tailed hawk (or more) hanging around lately. a respite, for a little bit -- enough to get my greens harvested, i hope.