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What to do with old pea vines?

Posted by egganddart49 6a NY (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 14, 12 at 22:44

I pulled the vines out today. The harvest is over and the vines have what I assume is powdery mildew. (The leaves were powdery white, but are also getting brown spots -- is this PM?) Anyway, can I compost them or might it spread the mildew?

There were a few pods left, some all dried up and tan. Others still greenish but starchy and old. Some have brown spots on them. If I wanted to save seed, can all of these be saved? Should I let the greener ones dry in the pods? Can the brown spotted ones be saved or do they carry the disease?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What to do with old pea vines?

  • Posted by jolj 7b/8a-S.C.,USA (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 15, 12 at 13:28

I would compost it by it's self, not in the general compost pile.


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RE: What to do with old pea vines?

An image search makes me think the disease is a fungus, probably Mycosphaerella pinodes or Phoma medicaginis (foot rot). I think I'll burn the vines and definitely NOT save the seeds. It's interesting, some fungi spread more rapidly in damp conditions, others in dry. In any case I probably planted them too closely and there wasn't enough air circulation. The harvest was nearing the end, but the last peas to grow were stunted: tiny pods with only one or two peas. I guess that's what happens when the plants are compromised.


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RE: What to do with old pea vines?

An image search makes me think the disease is a fungus, probably Mycosphaerella pinodes or Phoma medicaginis (foot rot). I think I'll burn the vines and definitely NOT save the seeds. It's interesting, some fungi spread more rapidly in damp conditions, others in dry. In any case I probably planted them too closely and there wasn't enough air circulation. The harvest was nearing the end, but the last peas to grow were stunted: tiny pods with only one or two peas. I guess that's what happens when the plants are compromised.


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RE: What to do with old pea vines?

Personally I'd just chuck the lot on the compost heap. Peas always look manky at the end of the season and I don't think there is necessarily any horrendous problem which will return to haunt you. Also I wouldn't have pulled the peas but cut them off so as to leave the roots, with their nitrogen fixing nodules, to degrade away in the ground. But I am a low input low fuss gardener who tolerates a certain amount of imperfection so you might want to be more careful.


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RE: What to do with old pea vines?

Burning is illegal in NY. I toss the vines into the woods. I'd toss them into the compost, but I'm not confident every single pea vine disease organism gets hot enough. In my small garden I don't take chances.

I agree with Flora about cutting the vines and leaving the nodules.

If the peas are a hybrid, you wouldn't get such good peas necessarily, the next year, if you saved the seeds. But it's fun to try and see what happens! Use the ones that have fully dried on the plant.


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