The method sometimes adopted of waiting till far on in February, and then sowing in stove-heat to make up for lost time, is not to be recommended. The way that is attended with the most substantial results, where a large border of early Peas is required, is to get ready a quantity of open rather dry soil early in January. Equal parts of loam and leaf-mould are the best. The necessary quantity of boxes, 4 inches deep, is filled with the soil (after passing it through a 3/4-inch sieve) to within 1 1/2 inch of the top of the boxes, leaving an even rather firm surface. Sow the Peas, after being soaked twelve hours in water, just thick enough to allow each Pea to lie on the surface without touching each other. Then cover with the same soil made a little finer, and place the boxes in a house or pit with just a little more than greenhouse temperature. No water is given till after the Peas are through the soil. The young Peas come through far more regularly when first soaked and covered with rather dry soil.

If sown in the ordinary way and watered, the surface is caked and clotted, and the young seedlings raise it before them instead of coming nicely and regularly through it.

Air is freely given as soon as ever they are through the ground. I have found that managed thus, they often do not require any water till they were transplanted about the end of February, when they are found hardy and strong, and being dry, they come out of the boxes without losing a root. Of course, they should be well hardened-off before planting out.

When short of boxes, they may be sown in drain-tiles or stripes of turf, or even in small pots. In the latter case, which is a very good way, they are planted, without breaking the balls, about G inches, pot from pot, in the row, and they soon spread into the stakes and lose the patchy appearance. They probably receive less of a check in this way than by any other, but it is more troublesome than the box method.

In transplanting, the working of the soil goes on as directed for sowing the seed in open borders. The little trench for receiving the row of Peas should be 8 or 9 inches deep, so that the roots of the Peas can be let naturally down into the soil, instead of being huddled together near the surface. In heavy soils, it is worth while to mix up as much loam and leaf-mould, in equal proportions, as will well cover the roots when planted. They start away more freely than when adhesive cold soil is placed next the roots. The staking should be done immediately after planting, for the reasons already assigned. Managed thus, I have always found the early Pea crop much more satisfactory than when sown in autumn, and they stand a deal of frost when raised hardy. This comparatively cool system of sowing early in January, and forwarding them to be ready for planting by the end of February, is available in the case of all those who have a corner in a greenhouse or pit to spare, where a very little space is sufficient to forward enough to plant a few rows for an early crop.

It will not be too thick to plant three plants to the inch in the rows, as very thin crops of early Peas are not satisfactory.

That there should not be any chance of a gap in the gathering of Peas daily, a few boxes of the earliest, over and above what are required for a south-border planting, should be planted in an open quarter to form a succession to those sown on the border, and, at the same time, a planting of a second early variety, raised at the same time and in the same way, to be ready for gathering between the early crop and second early sown in the open quarters, which latter should always be sown as soon as weather will allow after the 1st of February, after which a sowing should be put in every ten days till the end of June.

Although not an advocate for thick sowing, at the same time, in the case of tall strong growing sorts, a medium between the thick-sowing system and that of dropping the seed about 2 inches asunder is the surest way of getting a really good row of Peas. With regard to the distance between the rows, a safe rule is to sow those that grow 4 feet high at 4 feet apart; those that grow 6 feet and 7 feet, at 6 feet and 7 feet apart. Rich strong soils, where Peas generally grow strong and tall, may be allowed 1 foot more with advantage. These distances are applicable where no other crop beside a row of Spinach or Lettuce is grown between the rows. A good plan in dry situations is to sow wider, from 9 to 12 feet, and crop in between with Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts, or other winter Greens. The partial shade afforded by the Peas in dry seasons is beneficial for Cauliflowers especially. A row of Peas is often sown between the Celery beds with advantage, especially to early Celery in dry seasons.

The best crops of Peas are generally grown on a deep rather strong loam, resting on a cool but well-drained subsoil. The finest Peas I ever grew were on a heavy clay, a large proportion of which was burned and mixed with the original soil. In dry summers, deep well-trenched soil has always the advantage for the growth of Peas, and indeed all vegetables, over that which is merely dug, no matter how rich it is. If the ground intended for Peas has been well manured for the previous crop, it may not be necessary to manure heavily for the Pea crop, unless for the two or three latest sowings, which, owing to the heat and dryness of their growing season, require more stimulation; and in shallow poor land it is a good plan to form a trench with some rotten manure in it, as is practised for single rows of Celery. The usual succession is to follow root crops, such as Parsnips, Beet, etc, with Peas, and it may be regarded as a good rotation.

In very dry seasons, watering is often resorted to with the view of preventing mildew. The best way is to give a few good soakings of manure-water, and mulch with half-decayed manure. Frequent watering cools the soil, and it is better to prevent evaporation by a mulching than to water more frequently.