Cultivating Winter Field Beans
Mon, Dec 06, 2021

Cultivating Winter Field Beans: Enrich Your Soil with Nitrogen

Publisher logo
Cultivating Winter Field Beans: Enrich Your Soil with Nitrogen Article Preview
What Are Winter Peas

In growing, winter field peas are no more whimsical than any other early cold-resistant crop. In any case, even a novice gardener who is addicted to this pea plant can grow it without any problems.

Read the recommendations on the technology of planting peas in open ground, with the features of proper care and proper collection, and no difficulties would confuse you.

Today, Austrian winter peas are often planted for agricultural purposes as a cover crop and are also grown by home gardeners or backyard poultry growers. Winter peas have decorative value and are delicious in salads or deep-fried.

What Are Winter Peas?

Winter pea is an annual cold season legume, although some can also grow successfully in summer or spring in cooler regions. Depending on the conditions of maintenance and soil fertility, the plant can grow up to 4 feet in height. Peas have thin and hollow stems and pale green, fleshy leaves with jagged edges. There are also thin, branched tendrils at the top of the plant. In spring, the field peas plant blooms with pinkish-purple flowers.

Field peas grow well almost anywhere in the continental United States and in some parts of Canada.

What Are Field Peas Used For?

It is believed that peas add nitrogen to the soil, for which they are especially appreciated by gardeners. In general, many members of the legume family can boast of this, such as beans, green manures, and lupins. These plants can fix nitrogen in the soil due to an interesting relationship with Rhizobia (soil bacteria), which forms nodules on the roots of plants to provide nitrogen, which these plants can then easily assimilate. If you cut the peas before they bloom in the spring, this extra nitrogen would be available for future crops, which in turn can stimulate healthy leaf growth.

How to Grow Field Peas

Planting field peas in the fall can also limit rainfall on bare soil. They also can harden the surface and wash out nutrients. By competing with weeds in any warm season, the peas would maintain a “clean” soil for future crops. By the way, these plants have another advantage. It lies in the fact that these plants, thanks to their extensive root system, can destroy heavier soils.

How to Grow Field Peas?

You can grow peas only using one method – seed. The seedling propagation method in this case is inappropriate.

Preparing Winter Pea Seeds

Seed germination directly depends on the correctness of their preparation for planting. First, the peas seeds should be selected – select the highest quality specimens from the total number, which have no traces of damage, black spots, and other flaws. The spoiled seed would not give healthy shoots, and weak shoots are exposed to diseases and pests in the first place.

As we discussed above, Rhizobium bacteria help legumes fix nitrogen in the soil. Remember, nitrogen is the key to soil health. You may already have these bacteria in your soil, but if you add them in addition, it would not do any harm. To do this, you can use an inoculant.

The most common way to do this is to attach it to the field pea seeds that you intend to plant. Proceed as follows:

  • Take a container (a deep bowl or a regular plastic container can do) and pour the seeds into it.
  • Moisten them with a little water. Be sure to drain off excess water after soaking.
  • Add an inoculant to wet pea seeds and mix well. It should stick to all seeds.

Garden Bed Preparation and Proper Cultivation

You need to start preparing the garden by choosing a place on your plot. You need to give preference to well-lit areas on a hill. The roots of the plant penetrate deeply into the soil; with a high level of groundwater occurrence, there is a danger of their decay. Therefore, the flooded land is not suitable for planting legumes. Where is the best place to plant peas?

When choosing a place for a winter pea cover crop, take into account what was grown earlier. Ideal predecessors are beets, potatoes, corn, zucchini, eggplants, etc. But after the peas, you can plant everything, as the soil is enriched with nitrogen, becomes looser, and more fertile.

It is not recommended organizing a pea bed where perennial grasses or legumes were grown, as they can cause illness or pest infestations.

The Soil

Austrian winter peas grow well in almost any well-drained soil. Only soils with a high level of acidity and those that contain a lot of salts are contraindicated for peas. The field peas cover crop requires constant moisture and does not fare well in arid climates where rainfall is less than 20 inches (50 cm) per year.

When to Plant Austrian Winter Peas?

When to Plant Austrian Winter Peas

Now let’s find out when to plant winter peas. Austrian winter peas are hardy in USDA zones 6 and above. Winter peas seeds are usually planted in the fall after the hottest days of summer have passed. They also can thrive in colder climates if they are protected by good snow cover; otherwise, they may freeze. If this is a concern, you can plant Austrian winter peas as an annual in early spring.

The main care for peas is proper watering, followed by loosening and simultaneous weeding of the area. The first loosening of the soil is carried out two weeks after the emergence of seedlings and is accompanied by the hilling of pea bushes. When the plants are stretched to a height of 7-10 inches (20-25 cm), put on a row of supports, along which the peas can climb up.

How to Plant Field Peas?

Planting winter peas is a fairly straightforward process. Just toss the winter field peas on top of the prepared soil in what’s called sowing. You don’t need to place them in orderly rows. Just make sure they are spaced some distance apart. If you have a really large area, consider using a seed spreader. After the seeds are sown, cover with the laid soil to a depth of 1-2″ (3-5 cm). If the weather is dry, let them soak in water. And keep them well-watered (with rain or water) until they germinate.

Austrian Winter Peas’ Germination Temperature

Although the winter peas cover crop is hardy, it can die in temperatures below 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Best Fertilizer for Field Peas

Peas cover crop grows best in soil with a pH of 6 to 7.5. When planting them, it is recommended to use compost or rotted manure. Be aware that continuous use of fertilizers with a high phosphorus content (such as 15-30-15 or 10-10-10) or excessive amounts of manure compost can lead to a build-up of phosphorus in the soil.

In the Spring

In the winter, the Austrian winter pea cover crop would be dormant and won’t grow unless you have a mild winter. With the onset of spring, when it gets a little warmer, the plants should already grow decently. A few weeks before you plan to plant a new crop, cut the peas to the ground, leaving only the roots in the soil. The nitrogen captured by these plants would remain in the roots. When they break down, they release nitrogen into the soil. At that time, cut plants can be easily used as green mulch in your garden beds. After about 2-3 weeks, peel the greens and roots. Now you can safely plant the vegetables you want here!

Are Field Peas Healthy?

Are Field Peas Healthy

Peas are superior to all other vegetables in the amount of protein. In addition, the fruits contain vitamins C, B, B2, B6, K, PP, and such macro elements as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, chlorine. Peas are also rich in trace elements: iron, copper, boron, chromium, manganese, silicon, nickel, strontium, molybdenum, iodine, zinc, cobalt, tin, zirconium, aluminum. Not all plants have such a large amount of rare elements.

Since peas are a source of protein, they can serve as a substitute for meat. Unlike meat, it is much better absorbed by the body. In addition, peas are a filling food. It allows you to be satiated for a long time. It is believed that peas energize, improve memory and brain activity, the use of this vegetable normalizes the functioning of the digestive system. Regular consumption of peas is good for the cardiovascular system. Blood flow is normalized, cholesterol levels are lowered, the walls of blood vessels are strengthened. The minerals contained in peas strengthen bones and teeth and stimulate their growth.

Legumes as green manure are most often used on clayey moisture-absorbing soils. After all, the growth of cultivated plants, which take large doses of nutrients from the soil during the growing season, leads to the depletion of so poor lands and a decrease in yield every year. Sowing green manures in organic farming, followed by the surface use of green mass, decomposing in the beds in a short time, is one of the most promising methods for improving soil fertility and structure.

Do you like this article?
no 0

You can do what you like and get paid! Write articles on the topic you like, work at home with well-paid work!