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Pitiful Pea Production

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Post  lzalvis 5/22/2014, 8:49 am

I'm in Atlanta, zone 7A/B.  About 6 weeks before our last frost date, I planted an entire 4x4 box of Sugar Ann snap Peas.  (note:  I did not use a legume inoculant).  I only had about a 35% germination rate (yes, I did the math)  

But all the plants that did come up are kind of pitiful.  It's 2+ months out from planting, and they're only 1-2 feet high.  Yes there are blooms and peas, but only enough for me to pick a handful off of each morning.  

I want to do peas again in the fall, so I guess Ihave 2 questions:  Is legume inoculant worth it for a better germination?  And what can I do for better plant growth & pea production? 

Thanks
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Post  AtlantaMarie 5/22/2014, 9:08 am

Hi LZ.

I've got the same thing going here.  (I'm up by Lake Lanier.)

I think I just planted stuff too late...  And when I did plant, some of the stuff was very small.

Not sure what to tell you about inoculant.  But that's a low germ rate...  Where did you get your seeds?
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Post  camprn 5/22/2014, 9:20 am

Sugar Anns are a short stature breed of garden pea, mine hardly ever get above 3 foot tall.  Pea seeds generally have good germination rates if the seed is fresh. Conversely pea plants can collapse often and for various reasons. They must be grown in cooler weather .

Regarding inoculation, this has nothing to do with the germination rate. Inoculation is an introduction of the bacteria that the legume plant needs to fix nitrogen which is essential to the health of the pea plant. New Mel's mix typically will not have this bacteria. Introducing the bacteria be accomplished by a commercial product that is fresh or adding a bit of native soil to the Mel's mix.

There are several threads about this subject on the forum, here are a few.

https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t17497-seed-inoculant-and-agricultural-sulfue?highlight=inoculant


https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t9934-legumes-and-nitrogen-fixing?highlight=inoculant



https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t4926-to-innoculate-or-not-to-innoculate?highlight=inoculant

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Post  lzalvis 5/22/2014, 10:16 am

That's true, I remember now the Sugar Anns were supposed to be shorter and that's why I bought them.  But still, so many of them are a pitiful 1-ft. high.  

I bought the seeds online from Sow True Seeds.  All my other seeds came from them, and everything else has an awesome germination rate and seem to be growing well.  

We've had such a cool spring that I would have thought these would do awesome.  I planted 5 weeks before last frost, I guess I'll plant sooner next time.  

Is there any hope for current increased pea production?  A bloom booster fertilizer?
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Post  camprn 5/22/2014, 10:31 am

Did you read the threads at the links I sent?

You could try to topdress the bed with a well rounded and aged compost. an inch or two would be good, This would give the plants a nutrition boost and perhaps cool the roots a bit.

Here is a bit more specific info.
http://myfolia.com/plants/1045-snap-pea-pisum-sativum-var-macrocarpon/varieties/4995-sugar-ann

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Post  GloriaG 5/22/2014, 11:14 am

Must be an off year for peas - I had several varieties of peas planted and for the first time, the entire crop failed this spring.  I suspect it was weather-related since we had hot-cold-hot-cold, etc during the entire time the peas were growing.

I planted the same varieties I grew last year, with great success. They were in a different box, but were in MM and got watered just like everything else that's thriving in that box. 

The plants only grew to about 2' tall and we harvested less than 1 lb of peas before they died off.  Most disappointing.
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Post  boffer 5/22/2014, 11:21 am

I would consider low temps to blame for your low germination.  According to the charts in the back of the ANSFG, at soil temp of 41°F, it takes 36 days for germination, and you can expect 89% germination.  What can happen when it takes that long for germination, is that the seeds end up rotting in the cool, damp MM.  

If you look for the seeds where you know you planted them, you won't find any, or they will be a little, gooey blob.

For the seeds I planted outdoors, I got poor germination rates and unusually slow growth this year. Yet the  seeds that I planted in a big pot in my greenhouse had good germination and growth, and I've been eating peas all week.  Peas can survive cold and snow, but they thrive in near-room temperatures.

I've never used inoculant.
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Post  camprn 5/22/2014, 11:47 am

Boffer +1. 
This is one reason I usually sprout my pea seeds inside and then plant the ones that have actually sprouted.

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Post  GloriaG 5/22/2014, 2:48 pm

Hmmmmm....... 

I never thought of sprouting the peas first.  Do you actually plant them inside like transplants or just plant the sprouted seed? 

I'm planing to re-plant later in the year for a fall harvest and that might work really well because ground temps are generally higher than ideal.

Thanks,
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Post  camprn 5/22/2014, 2:58 pm

GloriaG wrote:Hmmmmm....... 

I never thought of sprouting the peas first.  Do you actually plant them inside like transplants or just plant the sprouted seed? 

I'm planing to re-plant later in the year for a fall harvest and that might work really well because ground temps are generally higher than ideal.

Thanks,
Gloria
I soak them overnight, drain in the morning and then leave them in a jar on the kitchen counter. I rinse the peas each day; after several days the peas will sprout a little root and then I plant the sprouted peas directly into the garden.

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Post  GloriaG 5/22/2014, 4:05 pm

Thanks camprn, 

I'll try it.  I have a small seed sprouter that I use for salad "sprouts" that should work just fine.  Is there anything else you sprout before planting?  

Gloria
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Post  camprn 5/22/2014, 4:54 pm

GloriaG wrote:Thanks camprn, 

I'll try it.  I have a small seed sprouter that I use for salad "sprouts" that should work just fine.  Is there anything else you sprout before planting?  

Gloria
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Post  donnainzone5 5/22/2014, 5:19 pm

Camp,

I like your technique for sprouting peas!  Some of mine have yet to germinate.  Onward! 


I'll soak replacements indoors today for planting over the weekend.   
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Post  GloriaG 5/22/2014, 6:15 pm

Thanks again camprn, I appreciate the help.
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Post  yolos 5/22/2014, 9:16 pm

lzalvis wrote:I'm in Atlanta, zone 7A/B.  About 6 weeks before our last frost date, I planted an entire 4x4 box of Sugar Ann snap Peas.  (note:  I did not use a legume inoculant).  I only had about a 35% germination rate (yes, I did the math)  

But all the plants that did come up are kind of pitiful.  It's 2+ months out from planting, and they're only 1-2 feet high.  Yes there are blooms and peas, but only enough for me to pick a handful off of each morning.  

I want to do peas again in the fall, so I guess Ihave 2 questions:  Is legume inoculant worth it for a better germination?  And what can I do for better plant growth & pea production? 

Thanks

I am south of Atlanta in Brooks, GA.  I planted garden peas (shelling) on 3/2/14.  They are now 6 feet tall and still flowering.  We had a late cold snap and it kept them happy.  I started harvesting them on 5/18/14.  I assume they will stop setting now that the temps are in the 88 - 90 F range. 

I also planted transplants bought at Lowes of Sugar Ann snap peas on 2/23/14.  I think they were about 3 - 4 weeks old at that time.  They only grew about 3 feet tall.  I started harvesting them a couple weeks ago. I kept them growing by mulching and keeping them as cool as possible.  I also gave them a very small shot of Plantone because they were planted in whiskey barrels with last seasons planting mix (not Mel's Mix).

I never used legume inoculant but I am going to do it this fall and next spring in all the beds I plant peas and beans.  I only plan on doing this once to get the bacteria/fungi introduced to each bed.  I
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Post  yolos 5/22/2014, 9:30 pm

Woops, forgot to post a picture.  Ya gotta always have a picture.
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Post  NHGardener 5/22/2014, 10:30 pm

camprn, you get good results with your pea sprouting. I'm going to try to remember to do that next year.
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Post  CapeCoddess 5/24/2014, 6:52 am

Look at all those peas, yolos! My garden isn't that far along yet but it's a comin.

I like to plant peas 3 times. The first time is late winter. Once they sprout I plant I second planting filling in any spaces in the first planting. When the second planting sprouts I plant a third planting filling in any spaces left in the 1st and 2nd planting. Voila! succession planting!
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Post  Marc Iverson 5/24/2014, 6:59 am

Boy I'm glad I don't have as many problems getting them to germinate as you guys do. But I wish I got to eat as many peas as you do. I get lots of germination and growth that goes nowhere.
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Post  NHGardener 5/24/2014, 11:37 am

There are 2 tomato blossoms on the leftover tomato seedlings that have been hanging out on the deck waiting for me to decide what to do with them. They were from the too many from the science fair experiment, extras that I didn't know what to do with so I threw about 10 of them into a big white plastic bowl and forgot about them on the deck, and voila, 2 tomato blossoms! Too funny. I'm sure they're all joined in one huge root ball mass. Maybe the support of all the other plants' roots actually helps them thrive? Maybe that should be next year's science fair experiment... large family plantings...
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Post  kauairosina 5/25/2014, 10:10 pm

camprn wrote:Boffer +1. 
This is one reason I usually sprout my pea seeds inside and then plant the ones that have actually sprouted.
I will keep that in mind for fall planting!  I wonder what else would work with that method?  Corn maybe?  Squash?  We plan to a three sisters planting soon. Hope it won't be too late. We really have our challenges with corn and squash. Corn gets leaf hoppers, ants and ear worms.  Our squash gets some kind of fungus.  

I am so jealous of folks who have great zuke harvests.  Part of the downside of gardening in Paradise.  Everything thrive, including the bad stuff.
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Post  NHGardener 5/25/2014, 10:16 pm

Oops! I posted that last note in the wrong thread. Sorry about that.
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Post  camprn 5/25/2014, 10:26 pm

NHGardener wrote:Oops! I posted that last note in the wrong thread. Sorry about that.
Do you mean the tomato bloom one? Where is it supposed to go?

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Post  NHGardener 5/25/2014, 10:32 pm

I guess I thought Pitiful Pea was the New England thread. Smile (Isn't everything here about New England?)
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Post  camprn 5/25/2014, 10:37 pm

NHGardener wrote:I guess I thought Pitiful Pea was the New England thread. Smile(Isn't everything here about New England?)
I'll move it.

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