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?
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.
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.
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.