Spring Peas

As the weather warms and the ground thaws, it’s time to start thinking about eating and maybe even planting spring peas. By performing the small act of planting some seeds, you’ll be rewarded with climbing tendrils and sweet snacks that both you and your kids will love.

spring peas

Before you plant your spring peas, it’s important to understand the different types. Yes, there are different types of these veggies!

While there are hundreds of different individual varieties of peas available – including purple and yellow pods – there are three main categories: snap, snow, and shelling.

Snap Peas

snap peas

Often called sugar snap peas, these crunchy little veggies are seriously sweet! Since they’re one of my favorite spring treats, I find it hard to resist eating all of them as I’m harvesting.

When some do make it to the kitchen, I love to pair them in a salad with mint and lemon. The freshness of the mint and the sourness of the lemon balance out the sweetness of the peas.

Snow Peas

snow peas

Snow peas differ from snap peas in their pod shape and pea size. Snow peas have flatter pods that you should harvest when their peas are still small.

They taste similar to snap peas, but they’re a bit less sweet.

A great way to use snow peas is in a simple stir fry. Saute some minced onion, ginger, and garlic in oil on medium heat. Once these become fragrant, add in snow peas, sesame oil, and soy sauce and cook just until the peas are warm – about two minutes.

Shelling Peas

shelling peas

Also known as shell peas or English peas, these plants produce large, sweet peas encased in a tough pod. Unlike snap and snow peas, you don’t eat the entire pod.

These peas do take some work to eat since you’ll have to remove the individual peas from their pod by hand. However, this is a great activity for kids or a reason to get a group of friends together.

One of the best ways to prepare shelling peas is to simply saute them in some oil. They’re great with roasted or mashed potatoes.

How to Plant Peas

No matter what type of peas you choose to plant, it’s easy to grow your own.

These plants like cool weather, so plant seeds as soon as you can prepare the soil. Depending on where you live, this is typically some time in February, March, or April.

Plant seeds two inches apart and 1/2 inch deep. Once the pea plants are a few inches tall, they’ll start looking for something to hold on to. So, it’s a good idea to provide a trellis. You can weave a string between two sticks or t-posts, or you can build a teepee structure with bamboo or sticks.

About two months after planting your seeds, you’ll start seeing peas that are ready to harvest. Make sure to pick the peas a few times a week, as the pods mature quickly!

Snap to It

Now that you know about peas and how to grow them, it’s time to get started adding these to your garden. Even if you can’t grow your own, look for peas at local markets during April-June.

If you don’t know it already, you’ll soon learn that a fresh pea is one of spring’s sweetest treats!

If you like to garden, make sure to check out our other wonderful posts around growing your garden and 13 gardening hacks.

13 Gardening Hacks Every Gardner Should Know

Are you thinking about starting a garden this year? Need some gardening tips to get you started? Gardening is a beautiful and calming habit to have, but sometimes the number of gadgets you need can be overwhelming. It might even stop you from starting the garden that you’ve always dreamed of.

Despite what you may think, gardening can actually be an easy habit to pick up, and there is a sustainable way to do so. What if I told you that you could use items that you already have in your house to create a successful and sustainable garden?

Over the years, I’ve learned a few tricks that have helped me immensely with my gardening. After you’ve built your indoor herb garden, here is my collection of gardening hacks that will help you get the beautiful garden you’ve always wanted by using sustainable methods.

1. Sprinkle cinnamon on your seedlings to avoid diseases

One of the most frustrating things as a gardener is watching your seedlings become infected with diseases after working hard to nurture them. I add cinnamon to the leaves of my seedlings in order to prevent these diseases from occurring because of the powerful anti-fungal properties in cinnamon.

2. Cardboard seed tubes

Starting seeds can be a complicated process, but it can be simplified in a few easy steps. The good thing about starting seeds is that you can do so by using a household product you’re bound to have, toilet paper tubes.

All you need is your leftover toilet paper tubes, soil, and seeds. Start by filling the tubes with potting soil, and adding your seeds to it. Once the seeds have sprouted you can move them to your garden, planting the tube below the surface. Watch as the cardboard decomposes and your seeds sprout into beautiful plants.

3. Use leftover coffee grinds to keep garden pests away

Leftover coffee grinds to keep garden pests away

A great gardening hack is to reuse your coffee grounds is by sprinkling them in your gardens to keep the pests away. Adding coffee grinds to your gardens will keep ants, snails, slugs, and any other pest away from your plants and flowers. I keep a container of my used coffee grounds under the sink and sprinkle it over my gardens every once in a while. It does the trick perfectly!

4. Keep your plants watered for days by using this paper towel trick

Paper towel trick for your plantes

One of the biggest worries for gardeners when going away is the problem of watering plants. If you’re going away for a few days and don’t have someone to water your indoor plants, this paper towel trick will help keep your plants alive and thriving.

First, roll up some paper towels as tight as possible, then dose both ends with water. Place one end in a plant pot, and then the other end in a cup of water. This will slowly water your plant while you are away.

5. Increase healthy plant hydration with sponges 

One problem gardeners oftentimes face is root rotting at the bottom of a plant pot because of settling water. In order to prevent this from happening, place old kitchen sponges in the bottom of your pot. Instead of allowing water to settle at the bottom, the sponges will create an air space as well as act as a water reserve.

A nice gardening tip is to keep my old sponges in a container in my garage and when I have enough to pot a plant, I get to work adding the sponges to the bottom.

6. Swap fertilizer for Epsom salt

Instead of filling your garden with toxic fertilizer, use Epsom salt instead. Epsom salt is made up of hydrated magnesium sulfate which will help in seed germination and chlorophyll production. The compound also allows for greater nutrient absorption.

You can add Epsom salt to a water bottle and apply it as a spray which will help with immediate growth. I keep a spray bottle with Epsom salt in my gardening shed, so I can use it frequently.

7. Keep your soil in place with coffee filters

Keeping your soil in its designated pot can be extremely frustrating. It’s easy for the soil to slip out the bottom and get on your porch, deck, or any other place it’s located, especially when you’re watering the plant. One great way to keep your soil in place is with coffee filters.

When you pot a new plant, place coffee filters at the bottom of the pot so that it will stop the soil from coming out of the bottom. This is a great solution because it stops the dirt from leaving the pot but still allows for water filtration.

8. Kill weeds with vinegar

Kill weeds with vinegar

Instead of spraying your garden with pesticides and other poisonous chemicals, grab the vinegar from your kitchen. You can find a vinegar weed killer recipe here.

9. Use honey to propagate cuttings

Honey is a great way to propagate your plant cuttings because of the growth-stimulating enzymes that it contains.

Adding honey to the roots of your plant cuttings will help them quickly propagate, while simultaneously protect them from fungal problems. I’ve done this with a variety of plant cuttings and it does the trick every single time.

10. Keep your climbing plants in place with zip ties

Manage plants with zip ties

Zip ties are such a great, versatile gardening product. If you are growing vines or climbing plants, these can be super helpful in training them to grow in specific directions. You can find more zip tie tips and tricks here.

13. Use leftover citrus rinds as seed starters

Oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and other citrus rinds are a great, sustainable option for starting new seedlings. Not only are they a great size for baby seedlings, but you likely have some in your kitchen. Instead of throwing out the rinds after eating citrus fruit, save them and plant a new seedling.


Once the seedling has sprouted, you can move it straight to the garden, planting the entire rind in the ground. While the sprouts grow, the citrus rind will naturally decompose.


I hope that you love this list of gardening hacks as much as I do. Many of these tips advocate for sustainability in an easy and affordable way, which, as you know, I really value. Instead of having to buy fertilizer, seedling starters, or fungus sprays you can use items leftover from your kitchen. It’s amazing what you can do with items you already have in your household, like coffee grinds!

Start Growing Your Own Tea

Homegrown-tea-edge

Hot or cold, Tea is a delightful and healthy drink.  Whether you’re a fan of the green tea, black tea or even white tea, there are so many documented health benefits.  So when we saw this wonderful book Homegrown Tea which walks us through on how to plant, harvest and blend we thought it would be a perfect addition to our library.  From Amazon.com you can see the following write-up.

Homegrown Tea explains how to grow a large variety of plants in your own garden, on a balcony or even on a window sill could become your tea cupboard. It shows you how to grow your tea from seeds, cuttings, or small plants, as well as which parts of the plant are used to make tea. Liversidge lays out when and how to harvest your plants, as well as information on how to prepare the plant, including how to dry tea leaves to make tea you can store to last you throughout the year. As a guide to using tea to make you feel better, there are nutritional and medicinal benefits. Finally, there is an illustrated guide to show how to make up fresh and dried teabags and how to serve a delicious homegrown tea. It is sustainable way to look at a beverage, which is steeped in history and tradition.

We also found a really nice write-up on mother nature network so make sure to head over there.

Cute Ideas for Indoor Herbs

indoorherbs

I really want fresh herbs in my kitchen but I’d also really like to just pay someone to come set it all up for me. What can I say? I’m just not a green thumbed girl. The idea seems so overwhelming but when I found these cute setups from The Garden Glove, I thought “Yes”! I can do this AND make it look cute? Here are several ideas for growing indoor herbs and pretty much everything you need to know about how and when to plant them from seed to plate (visual.ly).

herbs

Growing Tulips Indoors…What?!

growing tulips indoors

Ummm…what?!!! I have so many thoughts about the chance to grow tulips indoors, I don’t even know where to begin. I can’t even get them to make sense in my head so that I can put them on paper.

There are a few things cheaper in Germany (and most of Europe) than in America. 1) Fresh baked bread 2) Wine/Beer 3) Gelato is only 1 Euro per scoop and 4) Fresh flowers. Fresh Flowers!!! WHY are they so expensive here?! There are FIELDS of fresh flowers growing on the side of the roads in Germany with a sign and a can to put your money in. You picked your own flowers and put your money in the can. It’s based on the honor system and we LOVED it!

When I left Germany, I had to give away 3 orchids, 2 lavender plants, a jasmine bush, a small lemon tree, and a couple of unidentifiable houseplants that were impossible to kill despite my lack of a green thumb. I’ve been living in our new (rented) house in Florida for 2 months now and I have yet to buy any flowers or plants. Just one orchid is $20!!!

Anyway, my love for tulips is deep. Like as deep as it is for peonies and hydrangeas. But I don’t see them everywhere here like I did in Germany. I don’t even know if they can survive in this Florida weather. THIS could be the answer to all my problems…well, maybe not ALL my problems…but it will make this girl smile every morning.