We finally have sturdy snow pea seedlings growing under row covers! Only a few seedlings emerged from the first snow pea seeds we planted in early April. Unfortunately, those fragile plants were nibbled down to the dirt by some critters. To improve seedling growth we treated the next batch of snow pea seeds with inoculant before planting and to prevent seedling damage we covered the ground with row covers. We now have thriving snow pea plants with dangling tendrils searching for something to climb. The plants need to grow bigger before the tendrils can wrap around the reinforcing wire trellis we installed two years ago. This is our first year planting snow peas. We learned another gardening lesson through trial and error.
What is inoculant? A commercially prepared source of dormant rhizobia, a naturally occurring soil bacterium. These tiny bacteria live within the bean roots and extract nitrogen from the air (which is 78% nitrogen), thus feeding the plants. Inoculant can be dusted onto moistened bean and pea seed just before planting. It’s a fully natural, simple process which takes only a moment, but will increase crop yields all season long. Inoculant can be purchased at most garden centers.