have experience growing english peas in the south - please help

lakedallasmary(8 - North Central TX)May 9, 2007

In fall 2005 I planted peas late, Oct 15. they did not produce peas in the fall but they made it through winter to start producing peas by April on to may. One whole month of peas - beginners luck (my first year to garden). We had a mild winter.

Last fall I planted peas September 9th (suggested date was sept 1, I got behind in planting), they all froze before I got any peas. They were little marvel. I guess those hate cold weather.

This spring I planted peas on three different dates in Feb as an experiment. The are making peas, but I have gotten only 2 meals from them so far (not counting garden snacking from the early ones). They look about done for the year. The plants have powdery mildew. I read cool wet weather causes this, I also read hot wet weather causes it. It has been wet! I just think it is the plant's way of saying, "I'm all done for the year".

I want to plant plant peas come fall for both a fall harvest, and a spring harvest. I would think that October peas would work best for the spring harvest. I think they would make it though winter easier.

But for fall harvest, it seems to me if I want to keep the plants out of hot weather I might need to plant them around sept 1, but with 60 days to mature that puts me at Nov and first frost is Nov 15. I read fall plants take longer to mature, so I would think I might get one harvest or two before frost hits. That is a pain.

If I back up the date a bit to get a longer harvest, it seems the plants would struggle both sprouting and growing in the heat.

here is our fall planting dates

To see examples of our temps in north Texas, click on below links. scroll down to see daily temps in calendar format.

august 2006 temps

sept 2006 temps

october 2006 temps

november 2006 temps

Last year was hotter than average so you can change the year at the top of any screen to see other years.

I know peas are not the best veggie to grow in texas, but I do like peas.

Anyway here is the question:

Do you have any experience or ideas on the best way to approach peas in the south?

I know I can experiment, which I have been doing, but words of wisdom from someone that has gone before me, would be so appreciated.

Also, I would think that the variety I would plant in spring would not be the same one I would try in the fall. If you have ideas on varieties for fall planting, I would love to hear about it.

Here are the varieties I plant to try

alaska

wando

little marvel

dwarf grey sugar

maestro

sugar snap

green feast - trade arriving soon from Australia

blue bantam - trade arriving soon from Australia

I received these in various trades which the reason I am growing these. If I would have bought seeds I may have tried different varities.

___________________________________________________________

Also I am still looking for someone to answer my question in the following post.

are southern pea beds wide enough?

I guess I was not clear that I was asking a question in that post.

Mary in lake dallas texas.

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farmerdilla

Seems like you are doing pretty well. I grow English peas here with no problem. Don't try for fall crops, but overwinter ( Plant just after Thanksgiving) for early spring peas. The smooth seed cultivars( I use Willet Wonders or Early Alaska) seem to work the best. The first of February, I plant early maturing wrinkled peas( Dakota has been my best performer) Use to grow Little Marvel in the forties and have tried it here a couple of years ago. did not do much. Blue Bantam replaced Little Marvel in the fifties ( It was a Burpee introduction) I remember it as a good performer, but it has not been available in the US for quite a few years. Wando is a good late pea, not as flavorful as most, but tolerates more stress.

Have grown Dwarf Grey Sugar, not my favorite snowpea by any means. Gets tough before you can blink especialy with a little hot spell. The original Sugar Snap is the best tasting, most prolific snap pea that I have tried. Huge vines tho, has to be trellised. Got about 5 ft tall for
me.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2007 at 9:31PM
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lakedallasmary(8 - North Central TX)

wow farmerdilla

you are a wealth of info. What state are you in/zone?

anyone else have ideas on pea varieties, like performance and taste. There are so many in the seed savers yearbook, I would never live to try them all.

Mary

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 11:28AM
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farmerdilla

Georgia

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 8:56PM
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fliptx(Houston 9)

I grew Super Sugarsnap last year and loved it. They were just as vigorous, healthy, and yummy as could be. I planted in February and got a lot of peas off the vines before it got too hot. I'll need to dig up last year's gardening journal to see when exactly I planted.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2007 at 6:37PM
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