Prepare in Fall for Great Spring Peas and Lettuce

* It’s almost too much to bear when you’re right in the midst of cleaning up and looking forward – eagerly! – to not thinking about the whole thing, but now is the time to prepare a few beds for early spring planting. The soil is usually too wet to work in March and April, optimal planting time for peas and sweet peas, so it really helps if all you have to do is set stakes and plant seeds. Choose spots you can reach from paths or lawn. Clean out all the weeds and put on a good thick layer of compost.

* The “get ready now” advice started with peas because they take up the most space ( and happen to be favorites of mine) but it also applies to onions, Bibb lettuce and fava beans.

* If you have spread straw mulch over newly planted garlic, marginally hardy flower bulbs, or recently divided perennials, it’s likely the rains have rewarded you with a lawnlike crop of young oats, and that they appear to be worrysomely hardy. Worry not. Even though frost doesn’t bother them, winter cold will kill them down.

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