kgall
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Couple of questions..Peas and potatoes

Ok, so...
I went out today with the plan of pulling out my peas but when I got out there half of them are turning yellow but there were quite a few that had produced more flowers. I don't know if I should pull them I fear they will die before the peas mature. Or should I leave them? I was planning on throwing some cucumber and squash seeds in their place. Any advice would be appreciated!

Secondly I planted Norland potatoes this spring. The plants are slowly turning brown and dying, I understand that this is the way of things. Is there any advantage to cutting the plants down as opposed to just watching them fade away? are they getting any bigger as this process happens? I pulled one potato last week and it was not quite baseball size. I put it in the fridge and planned to use it but 2 days later it was soft! Does the whole plant have to die before the skins thicken? What would you do?

Thanks!

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applestar
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I cut peas at the ground level, leaving the roots in the ground to breakdown and release any nitrogen left in the nodules and add carbon/organic matter to the soil.

I don't know what's the best thing to do with your peas, but while you wait, you *could* go ahead and sow your seeds, and then just cut down the closest pea plants once the sprout and shouldn't be shaded. I would probably fork-fracture the soil, spread some compost and lightly rake it in before sowing the new seeds.

This year, I'm following [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=21761]Ruth Stout and Emilia Hazelip's gardening practices[/url], so I would spread more compost between the cuke and squash hills and use the pea vines as mulch along with some hay.
Last edited by applestar on Sat Jul 10, 2010 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

The Helpful Gardener
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Good answer AS!

I agree!

HG
Scott Reil

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jal_ut
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Spent pea vines? I suppose it doesn't make a bit of difference if you pull them, snip them or just till them in as long as the vines are used for mulch or compost and returned to the garden. If they are blooming again they will produce some more peas if you have enough season left. What happens here is they will get frozen just before they are ready.

Potatoe skins getting tougher is a function of the growing stopping and some time for it to happen. When the vines are dying the growing is over, but it will take a couple of weeks for the skins to thicken up. If you want some fresh new potatoes now to eat, just dig up a couple of the plants that are about gone. Hard to beat new potatoes.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

TZ -OH6
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You can cut off the potato tops when they start to die off if you want. Commecial growes will mow down a field when the potatoes reach a certain size. My view is to let the plants die off naturally so that they have time to translocate nutrients from the tops down into the tubers.

Either way if you want tough skins for storage the spuds have to stay undisturbed for a couple of weeks after the plant is dead/gone.

kgall
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Location: New Hampshire

Thank You all!
Patience, patience, patience.
I never thought of using the spent peas as mulch but I will absolutely do that. The potatoes too? I guess I will wait and see what happens with the peas. It's been in the upper 90s all week so I am surprised that I got more pea flowers!

I am just so anxious to see what kind of yield I will get from the potatoes.

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