You can hardly ever plant peas too early in North Carolina (she said, thereby causing a crippling multi-state ice storm) so today I went out, finished dumping garden mix on the sunniest vegetable bed, and planted out peas.
I usually use tomato cages as trellises--I have some beautiful enameled red ones that are just lovely and also absolutely useless for tomatoes, which knock them down and tear them apart. (Live and learn...) They're okay for mobile pea towers, though. I am also experimenting with some eight-foot poles this year, to see if the peas like those better.
My go-to cultivar here in North Carolina is "Wando" which is a solid, if undistinguished, performer that can take a good amount of heat. I tried "Lincoln" last year and it was so-so, but it was such a demented year for weather that I'm giving it another run, although it's only getting half the space of Wando. Finally, there's this year's experiment--"Blue Podded Blauwschokkers," which gets two tomato cages. Kevin is a fan of snow peas--we'll see how MUCH of a fan.
This year's big engineering trick is going to be with beans--I had superb luck growing them on an archway, much better than on poles, so I've got three new archways over the walk alongside the house. I am hoping this leads to a sort of green-tunnel effect. (And if it doesn't, I'll put in tomatoes there next year. The tomato I ran up the arch did pretty well, even with our bizarre weather.)Planting peas has thrown some internal switch in me, thankfully--from "Oh god, we'll never get to spring!" to "Oh crap, there's way too much to be done before spring!" I need to go prepare the beet bed tomorrow...