Chubby, round peas tearing through your garden without their pods is not pea streak, but it does conjure a cute mental image.
Unfortunately, there isn’t anything cute about pea streak virus (PeSV). Aphids carrying this viral disease spread it as they feed. The virus responsible for pea streak also causes chickpea wilt.
Pea streak symptoms
Stems of infected plants develop dark brown, gray, or purple longitudinal streaks. These streaks are similar to those caused by alfalfa mosaic and bean yellow mosaic. Infected plants produce deformed pods that have sunken areas. The pods do not fill out, and many leaves wither and die. Dieback starts at the growing tips and moves toward the center of the plant.
Pea streak management
There are no chemical treatments for pea streak. All you can do for infected plants is remove them and toss them in the trash. You can reduce the likelihood of pea streak in your garden by starting with certified disease-free seeds and seedlings and removing potential hideouts. Aphids infected with the pea streak virus often hide in alfalfa, clover, and other perennial legumes.
You can grow a surprising amount of food in your own yard. Ask me how!
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