octobahn
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What's this on my pea plant?

Hi,

I've attempted to grow peas (Snowbird, Green) from seed over the late 2014 summer as well as just recently. Overall, they have never done well. The sprout and do great initially but once the plant gets about 8" to 10" the leaves start to get this white substance on them. Then the plant appears to begin dying from the root up. Eventually it withers away.

Can any offer any advice as to what the issue may be?
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See the white on the leaves?
See the white on the leaves?

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applestar
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Re: What's this on my pea plant?

What you show -- those while splotches on the leaves -- are normal coloration of peas.
Here's a picture I took last spring though these -- Green Beauty snowpeas -- are different variety Image

Peas are cool weather plants and only grow well when temperature are in 50's to 70's. Could that have had something to do with what happened to yours? In the photo, it looks like yours were planted in a container. Container soil would heat up much higher than directly in the ground, so peas in containers will be even more susceptible to heat. They need good amount of water and don't so well in drought.

Also, if container, the soil needs to be gritty and well drained and neutral or slightly alkaline -- especially if using potting mix made with peat which is acidic. In addition, you always want to use the rhizobium inoculant for peas especially in a new potting mix. Even in the ground, they say freshly inoculating the pea seeds has better results EVEN IF you did grow peas in th same bed previous year. The peas are stressed without their symbiotic partner.

The size of the container may have had an effect too even though the variety you mentioned -- snowbird -- is a dwarf variety and probably could be grown in somewhat limited size container -- but it would have depended on how many you had growing in the same pot.
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octobahn
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Re: What's this on my pea plant?

The concept of seed inoculation is brand new to me. I will look more into this as we sow our next batch.

I read in previous posts that there may be some fungal issues in my soil which may be causing root rot. Is what I'm seeing with my pea plant dying from the root up a symptom of a fungal issue?

Thank you Applystar for all the valuable information.

octobahn
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Re: What's this on my pea plant?

I may not have properly described the root issue so here's a pic. Has anyone seen this before and can offer some advice? Thanks in advance.
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Withering at the roots
Withering at the roots

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applestar
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Re: What's this on my pea plant?

Is it getting hot there? This to me is a typical early signs of heat and drought causing peas to shut down. You may be able to keep it going by making sure the soil doesn't dry out, piling another 2-3 inches of lighter colored mulch around it to keep the roots cool, and providing some shade if in too strong sun as necessary.

The peas I showed in the photo above was shaded by a fruit tree until late morning, then I believe the house cast a shadow in late afternoon. But morning sun with shade from the hot late afternoon sun often works well to prolong cool weather crops. The path along side it was dug lower than the grade so that when it rained, the water collected to provide extra moisture to the roots.
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octobahn
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Re: What's this on my pea plant?

In CA, we're in the middle of a drought. The last week has been a bit hotter than usual (high 70s - mid 80s). The soil has been kept moist and it drains well. I actually thought the roots were too moist and that it may be causing rot. In any case, the pea plants I've planted have never gotten taller than about a foot and a half before I would see this issue. Maybe the soil is draining too much? I will keep an eye on the soil moisture and try the mulch. Thank you for the advice.

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applestar
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Re: What's this on my pea plant?

Pea varieties come is different heights. Little Marvel and Green Arrow are typical varieties that are listed as 18", Sugar Ann and many others as 2-3 feet. Green Beauty snowpeas grow 5 to 6 ft and Sugar Snap and Tall Telephone Pole can grow to 7 feet. So don't worry about the height. :wink:

Mulching should help.

Other details...Did you use pea inoculant when you planted? That may be part of it. Also, what kind of mulch are you currently using? If the mulch could be acidifying the soil, that may affect the longevity and vigor of your peas. If your peas are producing, be sure to keep the ready to harvest pods picked.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

octobahn
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Re: What's this on my pea plant?

The pea plants do normally produce but the yield is thin, I may get a dozen pods then I start to notice the roots drying out or rotting. I did not inoculate the seeds as I wasn't even aware that was a practice. :D I likely will with the next batch.

As for the user of mulch. I'm not currently using any. Whatever is mixed into the gardening soil I get from Lowes is what I have in the planting bed. Do you have a recommendation on the mulch type I should be using? I have so much to learn!

Thanks for your patience Applestar.

imafan26
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Re: What's this on my pea plant?

It looks like the fusarium. I get that when my plants are older. It is a soil borne disease. Try a resistant pea like snowbird (18 inch bush plants 58 days sold by Burpee) or Oregon sugar pod II which is the one that I plant, it is a vining plant so produces more pods than a bush and has some viral as well as fungal resistance. It still gets fungal disease especially in my climate, but I will get a good crop before it gets that way. Fungicide with sulfur every week if humidity is high, and mulch to prevent splashing at the base; drip water if you can. Try more than one variety, in different locations until you hit find the best combination. Keep aphids off the plant. Plant nectar and habitat for beneficial insects to reduce your need to spray for insects. Get rid of clover and vetch, that carry viruses that the peas are not resistant to.

Solarize the soil in June-July to supress diseases.

If you have a problem with any plant in a particular spot, it is best to change the location. Peas do fine in large containers. I have grown them in my 18 gallon tubs with clean potting soil. Try moving the location at least 10 ft away.

I don't inoculate snow peas, but it can be done. I usually only inoculate cowpea, soy beans, and sun hemp, but they are being grown as cover crops. Peas and beans actually need quite a bit of nitrogen if they do not have nitrogen fixing bacteria, but not too much or you will have more leaves than peas. The fertilizer in the MG potting mix is usually enough to get it through without any additional fertilizer for at least 3 months.


I found this website and it has good information on identifying problems with peas. It would probably work for beans too, they have similar issues. The only other thing I have that is common would be nematodes. Not a disease, but root knot nematodes do cause stunting and wilting.

https://www.learningstore.uwex.edu/assets/pdfs/A1167.pdf
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

octobahn
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Re: What's this on my pea plant?

Actually, I was planting several varieties of peas. None of the plants lasted. They would sprout and bloom extremely well, but once they get a certain size they'd start to wilt. I'm willing to try anything. Can you offer any additional information on the fungicides I need? I've got a few new pea plants in a planter as I'm curious if it'll take. Thank you imafan26.

imafan26
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Re: What's this on my pea plant?

This might help.

Your peas should be planted out in the sun in the cool months of the year and have good air circulation. Which means they should not be near a solid wall. A lot of people with small home gardens like to put their garden bed up against a solid fence or wall. The wall blocks air circulation and shades plants so they will lean away from the wall. It is better for the garden bed to be able to be accessed on all sides so not up against a fence or wall and far enough out that it won't get shaded by the wall.

Fungal diseases are hard to control once they get a foothold, so prevention is key. Make sure all of the garden debris and infected plants are taken out and destroyed. When the weather is conducive to fungal growth and before symptoms appear, you need to start spraying the plants preventively.

You can use horticultural oil or sulfur but not both.

If I know it is going to rain and probably rain for a few days, I find it easier to use the horticultural spray. I like ultra fine or summer spray. Neem is has anti fungal properties and is a good preventive but not effective after fungal disease takes control. I don't like neem my self it gives me a headache and it may not be good for bees. Horticultural oils leave a coating on the leaves that helps to wick off moisture and prevent fungi from getting a foothold on the plants. It does not wash off with rain unlike sulfur. Milk spray also works the same way by coating the leaves. I prefer to use milk that has some fat in it or mix some oil with the milk which will act as a sticker. I would spray the plants every 5-7 days.
I use a drip watering system and I mulch with newspaper to prevent splashing up back onto the plant. Any leaves that are heavily infested should be removed and bagged to prevent spread. Make sure the plants are well spaced so that air can move between them. For damping off problems cinnamon is a natural fungicide. Steep cinamon overnight in hot water, strain and spray on plant leaves and the soil. Make sure the cinnamon is strained well through a couple of coffee filters or it will clog your sprayer.

Other natural fungicides are made from Hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda spray which helps to dry the leaves.

Sometimes if fungal problems are aggressive I will double up and use a fungicide with chlorothalonil (daconil- you need to check what is listed) Daconil by itself usually can't control fungi issues but when used in conjunction with another fungicide it is synergistic.

Powdery mildew can usually be controlled if it is caught early. Take off the damaged leaves from the bottom of the pea plant. They don't do any good any way.

AACT actually can help plants by making them more resilient and better able to fight off problems.

https://www.ghorganics.com/page15.html

https://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7406.html
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

octobahn
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Re: What's this on my pea plant?

Thank you for the detailed write up imafan. I've obviously have a lot to learn. The pea plants I have in the garden now have already started to yellow near the roots. It may be fungal as I have these 'mushrooms' that often grow in spurts in the garden. I was going to get some pictures and post them on this forum for identification. Having said that, I have two pea plants in a pot which are about a month and a half since sowed but they're also starting to yellow at the roots. The soil I used in the pot did not come from the gardening bed -- I bought potting soil from the local home improvement store.

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