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Millipedes ate my peas!

Posted by tcstoehr Z8 Canby OR (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 29, 11 at 20:17

Two years ago I grew the best sugar snap peas. The next year, millipedes ate them all before sprouting. This year the same thing. Virtually every pea was being attacked by hordes of tiny millipedes, tunneling right into the pea and consuming the root too. In desperation I dug up the rows and pushed the doomed peas off to the side. I then refilled the resulting furrow with potting soil and replanted. I reasoned that the potting soil would be free of pests. In retrospect I realize that was likely silly. In any case, the replanting has worked quite well and I have a solid stand of peas. I figure the first planting attracted the bulk of the millipedes present, and they were content to continue eating the old peas pushed off to the side. That left the new planting free of millipedes. So I'm thinking next year I might just make a sacrificial planting off to the side a couple weeks before the real planting. That will distract the little buggers long enough for the real planting to take hold.
Don't let anybody tell you that millipedes only eat dead organic matter, They definitely prey on germinating peas.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Millipedes ate my peas!

  • Posted by lolear 5b - Chicago (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 29, 11 at 21:23

I had the same thing happen last year with soy and slugs. Darn slugs ate the seeds before they could germinate. This year I am going to pretreat with sluggo. I think it works on millipedes, too.

RE: Millipedes ate my peas!

Argh! Now the birds are tearing the seedlings out of the ground to eat the peas. If it's not one thing, it's another.

RE: Millipedes ate my peas!

Lay some quarter inch mesh or chicken wire over the peas, not flat on the ground but hooped up a couple inches so they can't get their heads and beaks in far enough. Let the peas grow up through the mesh.

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