Snoopydoy Posts: 18
in Fruit & veg
Dear Forum, I have just planted another 'hopeful' packed of pea seeds. I have tried to successfully produce the peas for 3 years now but always end up putting them in the bin due to powdery white mildew. I have grown them in different places and in pots but they always end up the same. What am I doing wrong?
Peas are prone to mildew unfortunately. You can try varieties that claim to be resistant. Doesn't mean they won't get it but (it is claimed) they will cope better if they do get it. It's also a good idea not to plant too close together. Allow plenty of room for air circulation.
I found fewer problems by planting as early as possible. Peas are incredibly sturdy, seedlings especially, and will cope with low temperatures. I've seen less mildew with a bit of chill in the air.
Too much moisture in the soil and Humidity are major mildew causes. Peas often are affected due to this.
Unlike most other seeds, Peas sometimes go sickly in greenhouses and cold frames, they like temps between 13-18C and good ventilation.
My advise would be water the soil, ensuring no water gets onto the plant seedlings and go easy on the water amount. Don't "wet" the soil, just dampen. Also, where possible sow directly outside, (just watch them carefully; pigeons and mice love peas!)
If that means sowing a new batch, don't worry; they catch up FAST!
Best of luck.
Thanks Crazy Cat, I have only grown them outside, and their netted, pigeons seem to like my garden so I don't want to invite them onto the veg patch. I will try to remember to keep the plant leaves dry, do I feed them or is a manure fed veg path enough?
Peas don't need any fertilising. They create their own nitrogen from the soil.
Italophile is right, peas (legume family) contain nitrogen fixing bacteria in their root nodules, so no real need to fertilise.
However, when they start to flower a weak solution of epsom salts (couple teaspoons in a watering can) will help flower formation and for them to set if they are pollinated- the epsom salts are a great source of magnesium.
Powdery mildew spores are usually found on leaves so avoiding watering the peas supposedly helps stop any spores washing around and spreading further...in theory!