Weed prevention for peas

It’s almost time to start planting peas.

Big issue I have with peas, as well as other early direct-seeded crops, is the weeds grow faster than whatever I’m planting, and so many of them are embedded within the planting area, that it’s very very difficult to pull them out without damaging the pea plants. Any advice?

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I pick the weeds as they emerge then mulch heavily with grass clippings when beans and peas come up


or you can lay black plastic and plant into holes cut in it.


I won’t be mowing for a while, but I can probably finagle something.

I would try clear plastic. the sun and extra heat would encourage the weeds to sprout. Then they can be removed easier. Dont till since that just brings buried seeds to the surface.

In the late summer I would plant annual Crimson clover its soil enriching edible and most importantly unable to grow back once cut. That way you can crowd out the weed seeds next year.

I have had great success for many, many years with mulching my gardens heavily with hay or straw. I plant pea seed on top of the mulch and then go back and disturb the area with a rake so that the seeds fall down into the mulch. I get little to no weeds this way.

I tilled in fall to incorporate lime. The pH was still testing way too low (upper 4s). It’s now testing around 6.2 (and will probably go up a bit more).

Won’t even the action of a hoe or planting tool turn up weed seeds, too?

The peas still come up through this?

Yes, I’ve never had any issues with them coming up. :slight_smile:

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Your have to fight the weed seeds not the weeds. Germinate the weeds seeds, then kill them, germinate more weeds then kill them. Then when you finaly plant your peas the viable weed seeds will be reduced.

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Great idea, but tough. I have a VERY narrow pea-planting window. Summer heat kicks in too fast.

Plus, I’m on vacation 6/20 - 6/30, so I want them to mature prior to that. Which means planting by 3/20.

After that is a lost cause, they bake in the summer heat.

mulching is going to be you best option then.

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I have used clear plastic mulch, but had trouble with growth of weeds before I was able to remove it. My best luck was with black plastic over soaker hoses. I have also considered crimson clover as a ground cover/weed deterrant/nitrogen fixer, but have not made the leap yet.

Clear plastics transmit 85 to 95 percent of the incident solar radiation, resulting in the greatest soil temperature. Because they create a greenhouse effect, they are usually associated with weed problems. Use of clear plastic should be combined with an adequate weed management program. With black plastics , solar radiation is first absorbed by the plastic and then transferred to the soil as heat. Efficiency of black plastic mulches at increasing soil temperature is slightly less than clear mulches. However, because no light is transmitted, weed control is generally excellent with black plastic.


Are you chemical adverse? Prowl H2O is labeled for lentils and peas.

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I’m not chemical averse, but I am $120-per-bottle-averse.


Maybe a nurse crop of oats?

I have a 3/4 acre market garden so the price isn’t to steep for that. I understand for a smaller plot and my jug has been used for 3 yrs. with half remaining.

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Maybe try baking soda at the edges of your garden.

Did we ever ask how big a plot your working with?

About 20 x 20