So this is a report on the experiment with planting the snow-peas on the 28th of August 2016.
As stated in the original post, I added nothing to section 1, added some sheep manure to section 2, some worm castings to section 3, and worm castings plus sheep manure to section 4. In Section 5, I repeated the adding nothing at all, to see if position along the bed made any difference, as in the first section there tends to be more moisture available than further along the bed.
Two weeks after planting, the sections where I added nothing at all were a little ahead of the other sections, but all the seeds had some sign of emergence.
Ten days after that – so nearly four weeks after planting – the other seeds had caught up and there is now little difference between the 5 different sections.
section 1, 24 days after planting: no additives
section 2, 24 days after planting:sheep manure added well below the seeds.
section 3, 24 days after planting: sheep manure well below the seeds, and a sprinkle of worm castings on top after planting the seeds.
section 4, 24 days after planting: no sheep manure, and just a sprinkle of worm castings on top after planting the seeds.
section 5, 24 days after planting:This was the second control area, with nothing added other than planting the seeds.
When the plants mature and begin to produce flowers and pods, it will be interesting to see if at that stage the additives do make a difference.
It seems from these results so far, that it really doesn’t matter very much what is added or not added as long as the soil as it is, is very healthy and full of life.
And the soil at the gardens is very much alive and healthy, as it is formed in the way that nature forms soil; that is from the breaking down of wood and twigs and other detritus that falls from the trees and shrubs growing in the forest. Of course there are no trees and shrubs growing in the area of the vegetable beds, so what we did is add natural wood mulch by the truckloads, which over time has broken down and formed good healthy soil.
Below are some links to various articles and information about snowpeas, for anyone interested.
http://www.annettemcfarlane.com/vegetable.htm info about other veg also
http://www.gardenate.com/plant/Snow%20Peas?zone=2 info on companion plants
On the 11th of September I planted snowpeas along the rest of the trellis, without adding anything extra to the soil. Ten days later there were some very tiny signs of emergence; this lot has been a bit slower than the first ones planted, but then it has been extremely wet over those 10 days, and I was pleasantly surprised to see any come up at all.
Some eggplant seeds and some capsicum seeds were also planted on that day.