The Q&A Archives: Disappearing peas

Question: Planted three varieties of peas this year. Good germination of the Oregon Sugar Pod II, about 50% for the Super Snappy - TERRIBLE results with the Super Sugar Snap. Have been growing vining sugar snap for
several years with great success. This year, I have about a 5-10% germination rate with the Super Sugar Snap (the three varieties are in different parts of our gardens) Have planted four times (4/12, 5/6, 5/25, 6/7). I am
very disappointed as this is our favorite variety. Have put up flags to control birds - if that is the problem. Could it be earwigs? Slugs? Squirrels? I am at a loss as my carrots, beans, lettuce, squash etc
are fine...Could I have had a "bad" batch of seeds?

HELP !!! I want peas this year. Is it too late (6/17) to try yet another planting?
(I realize that this is WAY more than one question...) Thank you...
Nancy B.

Answer: This is a very perplexing question. Obviously you know how to plant and grow peas, so it probably is not a case of operator error.

If animals are not bothering your other plants, I doubt that is the problem, although woodchucks, bunnies and deer might nip the sprouts in addition to hungry birds.

While it is possible that you purchased a "bad" batch of seeds, it is unlikely since reputable seed houses are very careful to maintain high quality standards. Perhaps the seed was stored badly after it left the seed company?

Apart from that, there are two possible explanations I can think of. The first is that the area in your garden where you planted those peas is in some way "different" from where they have been before, so perhaps a physical problem such as poor drainage has cut germination? Is the pH possibly different there? The other possibility is that the area has not yet been inoculated for peas. Did you use any on the seeds?

Peas are essentially cool weather plants, so I think it is too late for a spring crop. However, you can try again in the fall. In case it is a question of inoculation, you might wish to purchase some to use next time you plant peas.

Good luck with the next try!

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