Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pigeon pea shade

The red and yellow flowers on the pigeon peas are so pretty, but way up too high to get a good photograph.
My experiment to use them as green manure and then as stakes has worked well.  They are bushing out right at the top as I have pruned away all the side branches, and woven odd bits of sticks and poles to bring them into a straight line down the middle of the vegetable garden.  This means that they really only shade the garden from the midday sun which is perfect.  I began to wonder if I was ever going to get a harvest from them as they have take a good eight months to flower.  Luckily a fellow gardener in Nicuaraga grew them last season so I knew to be patient.  You never grow in full sun here, as even in the winter the sun is quite intense, and I much prefer a living shade.
The good news is that  it has not been raining so much this week - just a few little sprinkles, so a bit more sunshine to get those vggie seedlings off to a good start.


  1. You seem to be getting a handle on growing food in the tropics. I've never heard of a pigeon pea. Sounds a good idea to keep the midday sun off. I'm still struggling to produce good veggies. Each time I plant it gets a little better. However we're off to Sydney for three weeks so I'll try again when we return.

  2. Good luck with the peas! I'm a terrible veggie gardener lol.

  3. That is a very creative use of pigeon peas. Sounds like a great way to get that mid-day shade that's so hard to come by. Thanks for the idea!

  4. That's a really clever idea with multiple uses as you point out.I have my new comfrey plants up about a foot or so now.Some pigeon peas might be next on the list.

  5. Diane, well this winter is better than last year, so I am hoping my soil just keeps improving....have a good time in Sydney.
    Kyna, Thanks, I love that flower you have in your header -is it a columbine?
    Floridagirl, I have discovered that I really like growing different things! I cant say the hubby is too enthralled about trying them all though! Pigeon peas should grow well in your summers too, and they really seem to have improved the soil.
    Sanddune, I am glad it worked out as planned - sometimes things dont... glad your comfrey is doing well. I managed to start 5 more from my one plant and they are all doing well. Great for heating up the compost.

  6. My pigeon peas come in a can & I've used them to make vegetarian down and dirty rice. It's nice to see what the plant looks like. Hope you get a good harvest.

    So clever of you to make a mid-day living shade. Some people I know make teepees out of tall bamboo poles and grow their beans that way. Fun for small children who like to go inside.

  7. aloha,

    yes i heard that pigeon peas are a good soil ammender, i haven't tried it yet...just starting to get into creating my own IMO indigenous micro organisms, will have to do a post on that soon!

  8. Stopping by on Merrilee's "scavenger hunt." I enjoyed the photos of plants I've never seen before.

  9. Hello Adrian, I think that is what the English use for mushy peas too, I so I suppose we eat them in various forms around the world. Yes I have seen the teepees, I am trying to train my 2yr old grandson to only walk on the paths.....
    Noel, gosh that sounds interesting, I will be interested to read about indigenous micro organisms. I saw a show about a biodynamic farm where they had a big bin of roadkill full of maggots.... yeeuuw dont think I will be going that route!
    thanks Linda, see you on the hunt


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