I have good soil, but my peas are real scraggly and yellow at the base. Can you tell me why?
Sussex County Delaware
Root rots can cause the stunting and yellowing you are seeing. There are several different fungi that can cause root rot in peas including Fusarium and Pythium. These fungi can persist in the soil for many years and they tend to cause more severe disease when plants are stressed by soil waterlogging or soil compaction. You can check the roots of the pea plants to see if they appear healthy and white or darkened, which would indicate disease. If you think that your pea plants are suffering from root rot after inspecting the roots you may want to submit a plant sample (including the roots) to the UD Plant Diagnostic Clinic through your county Extension office.
Root rots can be managed by crop rotation (not planting peas in the same place more than once in 5 years), reducing soil compaction and improving soil drainage. Depending on the disease organism present, there may be varieties available with disease resistance.