Field peas are used in spring plantings as a source of organic matter and nitrogen, which improve overall soil health. Peas are a modest nitrogen-fixer on vegetable ground, but are the only choice in spring. In late summer, peas can be interseeded with oats to provide ground cover over the winter.
Prepare a level seedbed free of weeds and clods. Avoid wet spots. Additional fertilizer typically is not required, especially on vegetable land.
140 lb/ac or 120 lb/ac plus 20 lb/ac oats or 50 lb/ac plus 100 lb/ac oats plus 30 lb/ac vetch. A combination of peas, hairy vetch, and oats provides ground cover and suppresses weeds throughout the growing season. The peas use the oats as trellises. Vetch grows until frost and provides winter cover.
2007 price: $0.50/lb
March-April. Plant as early as possible with a nurse crop, such as oats. Possibly plant with oats in late summer for winter cover. Nitrogen from the peas will aid the growth of the oats, which will frost kill and give ground cover over the winter.
Time Until Control
With nurse crop-6-8 weeks.
Local farm seed dealers. Trapper is a common field pea variety.
Plant as early as possible with a nurse crop.Harvest for haylage when nurse grain is in the boot stage.Possibly plant in late Summer as well. Nitrogen from the peas will aid the growth of the Oats, which will frost kill and give ground cover over the winter.
Weak in wet spots.
Slow to establish, use nurse crop, e.g. oats.
Nitrogen fixation. Early forage crop.
Mow and incorporate to improve organic matter. Wait 1-2 weeks between incorporation and replanting to prevent nutrient tie-up that results in inhibition of the following crop.
Peas are susceptible to a wide range of root-rot organisms. Avoid a close rotation with another legume crop. An option is to harvest for haylage when the nurse crop is in the boot stage, but most of the nitrogen will be removed.
|Management Goal||Planting Time|
|Increase Organic Matter||Early Spring|
|Nitrogen Fixation||Early Spring|
|Reduce Weeds||Early Spring|