MAGGOTY PEAS - Well known to vegetable growers in the South East. The pea moth maggots burrow through the pods and into the seeds, making them unusable. Early and late crops can often escape damage. No treatment is available, so spraying with fenitrothion as soon as flowering occurs is the only way to combat them.

TUNNELED SEEDS - Seeds of peas and beans can sometimes be found with small, round holes in them. These are caused by Seed Beetle grubs. Affected seeds either fail to germinate or produce weak seedlings. No treatment is available, so protect them by buying good quality seeds, and discard any seeds with holes in them.

TUNNELED SEEDLINGS - Caused by the Bean Seed Fly. All bean varieties (not peas) are liable to attack by these soil loving grubs. Damaged seeds can fail to germinate; tunneled seedlings wilt and become distorted. Early crops are worst affected. Destroy all damaged seedlings, and prepare a good quality bed, or plant compost-raised seedlings.

APHIDS ON LEAVES (BEANS) - Caused b the Black Bean Aphid. This is a serious pest of Broad Beans in spring, and French Beans in July/August. Large colonies of black fly stunt growth, cause damage to flowers, and distort pods. Treat with permethrin or heptenophos at the first sign of attack, and repeat as required. Prevention calls for the tops to be pinched out once 3-4 trusses of pods have been formed.

APHIDS ON LEAVES (PEAS) - Caused by the Pea Aphid. Not as serious as the Black Bean Aphid, but in hot, damp summer, large colonies can cause severe damage  by stunting growth and damaging peas. Treat as for APHIDS ON LEAVES (BEANS), but no practical method of prevention is available.


BLACKENED STEMS - Cause by either Foot rot or Root rot. The leaves turn yellow and shrivel, and the bases turn brown/black and soon start to rot. Lift and burn badly affected plants. Practise crop rotation.

PEA AND BEAN WEEVIL - Tell tale signs are U-shaped notches at the edges of young leaves. Growth is stunted, but older plants generally recover. Seedlings can be killed off by a large attack. Spray with fenitrothion at the first signs of attack. Hoe around the plants in April/May.

SILVERY PODS - Caused by Pea Thrips. Silver patches appear on the leaves and pods. The pods are distorted and yield can be greatly reduced. Attacks are worst in hot, dry weather. Minute black/yellow insects are just visible. Spray with fenitrothion or permethrin. Dig over soil after removing an infected crop.

NO FLOWERS - This is most likely to be caused by too much nitrogen in the soil. Always use a balanced fertilizer containing phosphates and potash.