Friday, 4 May 2012
Snow peas require a large amount of water during growth and about 9,000mm of the water should be applied during the growing season. Alternatively irrigation should be done at a frequency which ensures a handful of soil does not crumble when squeezed but remains in a lump. Irrigation after topdressing of snow peas is recommended followed by a week without water to promote flowering. Watering after every picking is recommended to improve quality. Training snow peas plants 2-3weeks after sowing when the plants start tailing on the ground. Pinch the terminal bud to stimulate branching and production of more flowers. The snow peas plants are supported using twiggy branches or stakes. A trellis made of wooden stakes 1.5-2m long and 3-4cm diameter and wire [gauge 10] or diesel treated sisal twine tied between the stakes 60-70 cm above the ground can be used. 30cm of the stake should be buried at 2m and 2.5 m intervals along the rows for dwarf and giant varieties respectively. Another string should be tied to the base of the plants and then to the wire above it. As the plants grow another wire or string is tied 10 cm above the previous one to ensure the plants grows through loops.Snow peas major diseases during growth include powdery mildews manifesting as white powder, leaf spots, downy mildews and rust. Control is through use of certified seeds, spraying plants with recommended fungicides, staking plants, destruction of crop debris by burning, crop rotation and use of resistant or tolerant varieties. Major pests of growing snow peas include thrips, aphids, bollworms, red spider mites’ bean fly and nematodes. Control is by using recommended insecticides.