Sugar Snap Peas - Knowledgebase Question

Sioux Center, IA
Avatar for Mavern
Question by Mavern
June 22, 1998
My edible pod peas reach a height of l2-l8 inches and then begin turning brown from the bottom up before any peas are produced. I have read somewhere about nematodes on the roots. I have pulled up several of the plants and there are some small BB size growths on the roots. Is this the problem and what do I do?


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Answer from NGA
June 22, 1998
Peas are legumes, and as such have the unique ability to fix nitrogen in the soil. The little nodes on the roots of your pea plants are nitrogen-fixing sacs. If tilled into the soil they will release nitrogen as they decompose. If your pea plants are dying, check to make sure the soil is fast-draining. Root rot can set in quickly if the soil doesn't drain well. Aphids can spread a virus that will cause the same symptoms. Since peas are cool-season crops, it's also possible the weather has gotten too warm for them. 70F degrees is about all they will tolerate. Try planting again in late summer for a fall crop, or in very early spring for an early summer crop. At this point it's probably best to remove the plants and put them in a hot compost pile (just in case they do have a virus).

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