"Hey, how are the peas doing?"
"Um... Oh, did I tell you that we have peppers growing in the grow box now?"
"Oh No. What's wrong with the peas?"
"We have lots of new baby peppers! They look really good!"
"TELL ME ABOUT THE PEAS"
"They don't look so good."
I must have bad pea karma, because I just can't seem to grow them in my Indiana garden. Due to my first-year gardening inexperience, sugar snap peas were planted too late this spring (mid-May), and what few seedlings that tried to survive either got munched on by wild rabbits or got fried crispy brown by the hot weather. On the other hand, the same peas that I planted in my mom's garden just thrived in the cool coastal California weather this summer and gave my mom pound after pound of fresh and sweet sugar snap peas.
As we slowly transitioned from summer to fall, I was determined to try my hand at pea-growing once again. I direct sowed them in a shadier part of the herb garden in early August. All the peas germinated within a week. I even called them my butt peas. Everything seemed to be going really well.
My precious Butt Pea seedlings towards the end of August
Then a few weeks ago, I discovered that more than half of the seedlings had fallen over, like someone had taken a pair of scissors and went snip snip around the base of the seedlings. There were also a few seedlings that were cut off at the bottom, but looked like they were still up because their tendrils were holding hands with other seedlings. These were literally floating in mid-air, like ghost peas!
Even though I haven't personally seen any cutworms yet, I knew from my pest research that they were the culprit here. Those darn cutworms! I tried to find them by digging around the fallen seedlings, but I couldn't find any. I protected the remaining seedlings by pulling cardboard cylinders - empty paper towel rolls and toilet paper rolls cut about 2-3 inches tall - over them. I have no pictures from this day, because I was too mad to play photographer.
I really hoped that the remaining pea seedlings would survive, but a few more of them just dried up brown from the bottom without any apparent physical damage to the stems. Not sure what caused that.
Some remaining pea seedlings died this slow browning death
We still have a few pea seedlings that survived this ordeal and are trying to set flowers, but the pea patch is much more sparse than I had planned and I just don't have a lot of hope left for the remaining few pea vines. The level-headed side of me thinks, oh well, I'll just have to try again next year.
But what I really want to say is: WAHHHH, I WANT MY PEAS THIS YEAR!