Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Seed Saving for Snow Peas

My Snow Peas were a success again this year. I grow them in half of a 55-gallon blue barrel on the deck. I planted seeds directly in the soil in early April and they started producing by July. I got plenty to eat fresh, but by mid-August I let the last of the crop mature and the plants die back.

This is my first year experimenting with seed saving. The International Seed Saving Institute recommends beans, peas, lettuce, peppers and tomatoes for beginners. That's me! It took several weeks for the peas to dry completely. I knew they were ready when the pods were brown and transparent, and the peas rattled inside like little maracas. Then I cut up the stems and leaves for the compost pile. Nothing wasted.

I saved more seeds than I will need, but that gives me extras in case there are sprouting problems, and some to share. I shelled the peas, made an envelope, and labeled the contents by seed type and year. Saving my own seeds won't save me a fortune, but it'll be one way to become more self-sufficient.