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Having issues with my peas!

Posted by Brimstone0323 Zone 9b (My Page) on
Wed, Dec 19, 12 at 12:01

I have been gardening in Florida all of my life and up until this year I have usually grown a fall crop of Black-eyed Peas with no issues. This time around my plants have grown very well and they load up with bloom, but don't seem to be holding any peas. They have been through 3-4 blooming cycles, all having the same results. I have had a small issue with powdery mildew, but nothing that I couldn't bring under control with a light application of copper fungicide. I only water as needed, so I know they are not getting over watered. Any suggestions?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Having issues with my peas!

I am having the same exact problems with my pea plants in North Carolina. As soon as a pea pod forms, the rest of the plant turns yellow and Last year, all of my first planting of pea seeds disappeared within a couple of .... Some of the new ones were having trouble but not too many. why are my beans having so much trouble? ... over here in England people are having trouble with peas, beans, and even squashes/zucchinis.

Here is a link that might be useful: cook for book

RE: Having issues with my peas!

Has it been warmer than usual? Higher humidity than usual? Unusual weather patterns as with most of the US this time of year?

Then the most likely cause is pollination issues that results in either no pollination (aka'blossom drop') or inadequate pollination (aka 'fruit abortion').

See the FAQ here for more details but basically it says fruiting vegetables where the plant blooms but fails to set fruit, the blooms die and fall off. It may be caused by the use of excess nitrogen fertilizers or dry windy conditions, but the most common cause is temperature extremes. Tomatoes, peppers and beans are especially picky about the air temps when it comes time to set fruit. If the night temps fall below 55 or rise above 75 or if the day temps are above 90, the pollen becomes tacky and non-viable. Pollination cannot occur. If the bloom isn't pollinated, the bloom dies and falls off.

It applies to all fruiting vegetables.


RE: Having issues with my peas!

The weather has been typical as to that of Florida in the Fall. Nothing really out of the ordinary. I see plenty of pollinators moving about in on them. I also avoid any kind of pesticide unless absolutely required, and even then I lean toward organic options. It has me puzzled since nothing seems to be out of the ordinary other than the fact that they are not setting pods. I do have a couple of Tomatoes out as well that are starting to bloom pretty well, hoping to get a few off of them before the nights drop off too cool. I will keep an eye on them to see if they exhibit similar issues. Maybe at least that way I might be able to determine if it is an environmental issue or something confined to the peas.

Sonia, I had issues with my squash a couple years ago. They would grow into nice healthy plants, bloom nicely, and set squash, but once they got to about 2" the would drop and the plants yellowed. There were a couple of years down here that a lot of people the same issue. We all eventually laid it off to bad seeds. Never figured it out for sure though. Since that experience I have gone to heirloom seed as much as possible in everything I do. Everything has been great until this year.

If i figure it out I will post the solution.

RE: Having issues with my peas!

Peas are self-pollinating, not insect pollinated. About two days before the flower even opens, the anthers at the top of the stamen, which are the male part, burst and release the pollen. This sticks onto the stigma and fertilizes the ovary.

So you might want to ID all the insects you are seeing and make sure they are really beneficials and not damaging pests.

As explained in the FAQ on Blossom Drop here there are other possible causes for it. With legumes (peas being one of them) excess nitrogen in the soil is also a common cause.

But curiously most of the weather info sources for various parts of Florida report warmer, wetter, and more windy conditions there this year than normal. In some cases as much as 20 degrees warmer than normal. So while it may 'seem' normal, you might want to check with your regional weather stats.


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