In the Pacific Northwest peas are often planted before the soil has enough heat to activate the enzymes that are in your soil and needed by the pea sprouts to “fix nitrogen”. Someone invented a powder that allows the peas to be in contact with the needed enzymes before the soil is warm enough to provide that boost. Gardeners who plant their peas in a row can just sprinkle the inoculate (the name of the enzyme powder) right into the divit they have made in the soil before planting their peas. That is an easy way to get the inoculate into contact with your pea seed IF there is no wind on pea planting day.
I have Square Foot Gardens and am very specific about where seeds go. This post will show how I get the inoculate to coat my pea seed without the frustration of blowing away in the wind.
Before you start, prepare your square. This early in spring it is as simple as giving the Mel’s Mix a few turns with your hand shovel. Next, with your finger or dibbler, poke 16 holes into the square. Have a full container of water and a sieve that fits into the container at the ready.
note: many square foot gardeners plant only 8 peas to a square. What ever you are comfortable with will be fine.
Add a shallow layer of Pea inoculate to your zipper bag. You may be tempted to put the whole package of powder into the bag but the less you can add, the easier it will be to find your coated peas.
Count out 16 pea seeds for one square. Wet the seeds by dropping them into the sieve that is set in your cup of water.
Lift the sieve from the cup of water, give it a couple of shakes to free the peas of excess water before depositing the wet pea seeds into the zipper bag of inoculate. Zipper the bag and give it a few shakes to coat the seeds.
The seeds can now be removed from the bag. Perfectly coated with inoculate, they are now ready to drop into the holes your prepared for them.
That is all there is to this. You can do this with any large seed that may need this treatment. I am including the video that the pictures came from.
The first wave of peas in the garden. February 25, 2012 It could snow today. I like to drive to the snow more than I like living in it. The cold west wind will be gusting to 30 mph to hurry this storm in from the Sea. 43/36 and 90% chance of chunky rain (snow-rain mix) 10 hours, 47 minutes of day light between 6:58 AM and 5:46 PM