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Peas with flowers but no sign of pods

 
mud bailey
Posts: 12
Location: Southwest Virginia, Zone 6/7
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This is my first year growing peas, and I planted them in a fairly fresh (aged maybe 3 weeks) sheet mulch bed in a hoop house. They've been flowering for over a week now and there is absolutely no sign of a pea pod growing anywhere. The plants are huge and look really healthy. Any ideas?

Oddly enough, in the very same bed, I have a broccoli plant that is also huge and healthy with no broccoli head.

The beets are extremely happy in this bed, as is the spinach. I'm guessing I'm not going to get any pea pods and that I have a serious nutrient imbalance. Would like to know so I don't repeat this.
 
tel jetson
steward
Posts: 3356
Location: woodland, washington
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can't say for sure, but my first guess is too much nitrogen. can you tell us a bit about the dirt? any amendments or work you've done on it?
 
L. Jones
Posts: 80
Location: NW Mass Zone 4 (5 for optomists)
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Got pollinators in your hoop house? Been using a paintbrush?...

Broccoli should not matter as it's the immature flower that's eaten, but peas need to be pollinated. Small artist's paintbrush can work if you have no useful insects in there.
 
tel jetson
steward
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Location: woodland, washington
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could be too warm, as well. I'm in a rather colder part of the continent than mud bailey is, and peas go outside here starting in March.
 
Nick Garbarino
Posts: 239
Location: west central Florida
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I concur that it's the pollination step that isn't happening. If you can open the hoop house to let in some pollinators that might help. Or do it manually. The fact that the peas are flowering says that your soil fertility is fine, and so is your temperature. As for the broccoli, how long have they been growing? They need 50-80 days from transplants, longer if from seed.
 
tel jetson
steward
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Location: woodland, washington
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Nick Garbarino wrote:The fact that the peas are flowering says that your soil fertility is fine, and so is your temperature. As for the broccoli, how long have they been growing? They need 50-80 days from transplants, longer if from seed.


even if there are flowers present, it could be too warm to set fruit. happened in our tomato houses pretty frequently. peas, however, are certainly not tomatoes, so I could easily be all wet.
 
mud bailey
Posts: 12
Location: Southwest Virginia, Zone 6/7
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It has definitely been warm in the hoop house, but I just took the ends off so I think the temperature is OK now. Plus, peas produce here into July.

The hoop house was built on top of grass, which was sheet mulched with first a layer of cardboard, sprinkling of blood meal, uncomposted kitchen scraps, chicken manure and shaving from the coop, lots of brown leaves and old straw. All of that sat for about 3 weeks before anything was planted, and when I did sow the seeds they were sown in about a 4 inch trench filled with good potting soil.

I just googled "how to pollinate peas" and came back with lots of links saying peas are self pollinating... so maybe they just need some more wind/agitation?
 
Nick Garbarino
Posts: 239
Location: west central Florida
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Yes, Tel is probably correct that it may have been too warm. I just assumed that they wouldn't be in a hoop house unless they needed protection from the cold. I didn't know, but apparently they are self pollinating (learn so much through this forum), but possibly they need a little wind to help that along. Some pollinating insects may still be helpful too. It sounds like the soil is okay, but since it is fairly newly prepared sheet mulch bed, it should get better as it ages. Legumes don't need a lot of fertility anyway compared to a lot of plants.
 
Nick Garbarino
Posts: 239
Location: west central Florida
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Also, if it's too warm for peas to fruit, then it's much too hot for broccoli which is happiest when it's in the 30's over night and in the 40's and 50's in the day. Warm temps cause broccoli to go to seed quickly. Broccoli is a pretty heavy feeder, so a newly prepared sheet mulch bed may not yet be fertile enough for it. If it were me, I'd be putting aerobic compost tea on that sheet mulch every few days to help it decompose. I'm even wondering if that really is a broccoli plant. Could it be an imposter like brussels sprouts? Spinach does not like a lot of fertility, so the fact that they look great tells me that the sheet mulch hasn't decomposed too much yet.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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all above ground parts of both plants are edible..so go ahead and be eating off of them without the final harvest if you want to..pea vines are very very tastey in salads and sandwiches.
 
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