Baby peas versus wind

auxin(z7a Wa)May 3, 2012

First time pea grower. I have 'Dwarf Grey Sugar' growing to get nitrogen fixing use out of space that will eventually be filled with cucurbits.

Well at 4-5" tall I had a two day 20-40 mph wind storm, happens every spring and fall here, but about 2/3 of the plants snapped right at ground level. Just flat ground with no objects blowing around, just wind and dust. Quite bothersome given that it was a 260 sq ft bed.

Is this normal for sugar peas or is it a shortcoming of this cultivar?

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I've never had this happen with peas, but I have had it happen with some tender broccoli seedlings that the wind just spun around in their pots inside an open cold frame. They were a little stretched and weak, so it wasn't a surprise. I did see a tip in OG magazine that you could clothespin newspaper to the opposite side of the fence for tall peas like sugar snaps, but that wouldn't help you with your short peas. I wonder if you had just stuck some sticks in the ground for them to grab onto if that would have helped? That's what I do with my short peas. Cheap and dirty, but maybe it would have slowed down the wind some? But I guess they weren't to the stage yet where they grab onto stuff. I don't know the cultivar, so I should quit wasting your time here.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 8:32AM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

I don't have any advice, but I grew DGS last year and had no problems with them snapping in the wind. Are the tops still right there? Or is it possible something browsed through them? Sorry for your loss!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 11:23AM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

Our winds have been that strong (I think we even managed some gusts up to 60 mph) and my peas have not snapped. You could look at this way though, the wind cut them down for you and they are mulch and the roots can begin releasing their nitrogen now.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 11:32AM
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auxin(z7a Wa)

haha, yeah they can release their nitrogen now- but a bit early.
They were too young to grab a stick and two 37' wind breaks would be a bit overkill for me.
All the tops were there so they didnt get ate by anything, just knocked over and broke at the base, still partly connected in most instances. Many were still alive this morning so even among the broken ones only half actually seem to have died past the break.
I suppose I'll just dump some soil on any apparent survivors so they can root past the injury and mark any that didnt break so I can save seed only from those. Maybe in 10 years of selecting I'll have a tornado tolerant variety, lol.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 2:42PM
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