Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Pea Hooks

Three rows of 

Pea vines can't wait.  I've seen the type that grow to 30" and don't need supports.  Good hype.  In my yard, they needed support.  I just go ahead and plant pole snap peas since the yield is so much better.  But when the peas are about seven inches tall, their little slender hooks reach out for something to hang on to.  These little threads are amazingly strong and will grab just about any finger offered for their support.  Pea hooks, I call them.

Took several tries threading the rebar, nylon web, and
chains at the right intervals
to position the support over the peas

The garden bed next to the house seemed like a good experimental pea patch this year.  With all the chicken-enhanced fertilizer available, these vines will probably go clear up to the eaves of the house.  So why not just have the eaves hold the vines from the get-go.  Eye screws, three lengths of old rusty chain, an equally rusty length of rebar,  6"-squared web of nylon trellis, and another rusty rebar at the bottom to anchor the nylon web.

Delicate dance of strength

I used to think that pea vines were dumb and didn't know how to climb.  Look at pole beans!  They just circle around anything close by and head for the sky.  Peas will fall over on the ground with a sturdy string right next to them.  I just didn't get it that pea vines know how to grow UP, and they leave the "hanging on" to their graceful, tiny hooks.

Peas headed up their trellis.
There's that pink bucket again.
Can you guess what the bucket is for?

So when all my "get-to" things are done, the peas have a structure that will take them as far as they want to go (more rebar can be added if they go over six feet).  But peas and their hooks are blind.  I'll have to nudge them the right direction and connect a few of their hooks to the web.  I'm smart enough to do that.


  1. Great little trellis for the peas! I look forward to seeing how they develop over the season.

    1. Thanks, Becky. They are really coming along. We'll have an update when they're knee high to an elephant (I'm guessing that will be about 3+ feet.

  2. I love salads made with pea tendrils!

    1. There you go, Pam. Always thinking with your stomach! I'll be out there soon with my snipper to gather some for dinner. They are the sweetest and the best! Thanks for the reminder. You can tell I'm not a cook at heart.