I live in Pittsburgh PA, and was wondering when would be a good time
to plant a second crop of snow peas. I have tried in the past, and it
seems as if I did not have good germination. July's normal temperature
is usually in the lower 80s, but we can have days in the 90s also.
Does higher temperatures affect the germination rate?
I'm in Rochester NY, which is theoretically one planting zone warmer than
Pittsburgh, and I plant the late crop in mid-August. You should plant yours
about two weeks earlier.
I've never noticed that the germination rate is affected, but no two gardens
are alike, even in the same neighborhood. If you're concerned, get yourself
a roll of dark colored window screen and make a tunnel over the planting
row, in an inverted U shape. This will provide some shade. Remove it when
the plants get big enough that the tunnel gets in the way.
I had my very first garden in Rochester. I was a student at RIT, and
the school plowed an area near the married student apartments so
students could plant gardens. It was the best garden I ever had. The
summer was dry, and I was too cheap to buy a hose, so I carried
buckets of water to my garden. Having arrived in Rochester in December
from California, it was hard for me to believe that Rochester had any
color other than white. But once spring had sprung, it was fun to see
all the people heading to the garden center for their seeds, and
Corn Hill has been totally bulldozed to make room for Paychex Park, a field
hockey stadium. And, the police search homes regularly to make sure everyone
has a package of the worst hot dogs in the universe, Zweigles. I keep a
package frozen to satisfy the storm troopers, but it'll never be opened.
When the soil temperature gets too high, the peas won't germinate.
Peas will begin to germinate at soil temps of 40 deg F. The won't
germinate at all if soil temps get to 85 deg. Bare soil in the hot sun
when air temperatures are in the 80s and 90s is too warm for peas
to germinate. Shading the ground could help.
Pea plants don't like hot temperatures. A couple of days near or
above 90 deg. really stresses the plants and inhibits flowering.
Early April was nasty here, so I planted my peas late (it didn't
help that the first packet I bought was infested with weevils!)
and then just as they were starting to flower we had some hot,
hot days. Not so many snap peas this year.
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)
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