Distorted growth in top half of Oregon Sugar Pod II plants
What is causing the distorted growth on these pea plants? They were planted in mid March in a new raised bed, where Roma tomatoes, spinach, and “salad bowl” lettuce are currently thriving! There is no evidence of insect activity, and the first 12-18 inches or so of growth looks healthy and normal. The upper growth (18-36 inches) is curled and distorted, blossoms do form but are twisted and fail to open normally, and only a few small distorted pods have appeared. Is this a virus? Fungal disease? I have grown this variety of peas for years with great success, both in New England and most recently in Oregon. Shall I pull them up and try again? The seeds are Burpee Organic, and have done very well in the past. HELP!!
Washington County Oregon
Thanks so much for your prompt response. However, I am still mystified. No other plants in the raised bed, or for that matter, anywhere on my land show such symptoms. Yes, there is a farm across the road (fescue), but I have not noticed any signs of spraying this spring. Although these are the only pea plants in the immediate area, there is vetch and clover on my land, both of which look fine and healthy. Would an herbicide be so specific that it would affect peas but no other legumes, especially “weed” types? Could this be a virus? Could the soil in the raised bed be contaminated with something that only affects legumes? Any additional thoughts you may have will be greatly appreciated!
Thanks again so much for your advice! – Sadly, the new growth continues to be deformed. Just a quick follow-up… If a virus infects an already established plant and causes subsequent deformed growth, is that now a systemic problem? I am tempted to experiment by cutting them back to healthy growth just to see if any new growth would be normal. Hmmmm…. Should I refrain from re-planting Oregon Sugar Pod II in this raised bed for a season or two? Could the bed be infected? I really appreciate your advice and insights!
I really appreciate your advice and insights! - I cut back the distorted growth, but the new growth since then has been sparse and again a bit distorted, so probably this is some kind of virus. I have now pulled all the plants (about two dozen plants) and replanted (only 12 seeds!) just to see what will happen. Although it is a bit late for peas, I have had good luck with this variety (Oregon Sugar Pod II) throughout the summer months in past years, so I think it's worth a shot... I'll be curious to see what will happen.
Thanks again! -