Answer: Inoculant is a form of bacteria used to encourage high nitrogen nodules to form on the plant roots -- this aids in soil enrichment and produces larger plants with bigger yields. It is not strictly required, especially if you have grown peas in that spot before, but many gardeners do find it helpful. If you use it, be sure you use a strain suited to the crop and dated for the current year.
I'm sorry about your peas! Although peas can be planted as early as the soil can be worked It is possible that they rotted, especially if the soil was very wet and cold when you planted. It is also possible that something ate them without leaving much trace. However, if you have concerns about the seed itself, you might wish to contact Burpee Customer Service directly at 1-800-333-5808.
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