Author Topic: overwintering pea breeding  (Read 81 times)

Gilbert Fritz

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overwintering pea breeding
« on: 2018-11-07, 10:06:56 AM »
In September, I planted out 13 types of peas, most of them from Andrew Barney. So far, they've survived the erratic Colorado Fall weather, warm sunny periods alternating with cold and snow. There is a range of sizes, from one two three inches, and a striking diversity of leaf and plant shape. A few got nibbled by a rabbit, but I've been using animal repellent liberally. I put some Red Russian Kale in the rows as contrast; if it does not survive the winter, we'll know things were really bad.

Colorado weather is harsh on overwintering plants due to midwinter heat and sudden cold snaps. But I think that if peas could overwinter, they would be able to optimally utilize our spring moisture, thus needing little irrigation.

This is the first step in breeding pasture crop peas; eventually, I hope to have a landrace that can be oversown on a warm weather pasture in September, overwinter, grow quickly in the spring, and dry down for harvest as the warm weather perennial grasses and legumes take over in June and July. Ideally, the peas would be alternated with rye or winter wheat.

Pasture cropping has been somewhat successful in Australia, but I have not been able to find any examples in the USA; quite a bit of breeding and experimentation may be needed.

Raymondo

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Re: overwintering pea breeding
« Reply #1 on: 2018-11-07, 02:15:35 PM »
An interesting project. I’ve just started growing peas for use as a dry legume (soups etc.). Having peas that reliably overwinter and grow on quickly in spring would be very useful.
Ray
Growing in slightly acidic clay loam over clay and ironstone

Andrew Barney

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Re: overwintering pea breeding
« Reply #2 on: 2018-11-07, 07:40:36 PM »
While I'm not breeding for these goals specifically it would be nice traits to have and i will be interested in your results. I think peas would do well in Colorado if adopted more widely.

P.s. ironically i have a fall planted pea that has survived. It is a yellow snow pea i think. There may be others that survived as well,  but one big plant I'm watching. Ironically i wouldn't think the snow peas would survive as good without the fiber genes as they do poor in hail storms compared to others. But we will see.

I have heard of some people planting "Austrian winter peas"

Doro

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Re: overwintering pea breeding
« Reply #3 on: 2018-11-08, 03:29:10 AM »
That's an interesting project.
I'm selecting for cold hardy plants as well, but mostly because I get cold snaps in spring and it's awful to loose weeks of growth when having to resow. Long term I'd also like to work on summer plantings that survive into Oktober or even November for some late harvest.

In the Alp region it's been tradition to sow certain peas in autumn to give them a head start in spring and get a crop up to a month earlier than spring sown peas. These are called Winterkefe or Wintererbse depending on the area. These winter peas are mange tout / snow peas or field peas (arvense).
I have grown some of them and a lot of Swedish varieties (gråärt). Young plants will survive -5C bare frost without problems as long as there is no wind. In colder temperatures or windchill they need a snow cover though. If the ground freezes in combination with sunshine, that's fatal, they dry out then.

Brian

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Re: overwintering pea breeding
« Reply #4 on: 2018-11-08, 08:08:45 AM »
Gilbert, I'm in the Denver area and growing Austrian winter peas and another "bio-master" peas both just purchased online.  The AWP did well last year and I saved a bit, replanted this fall.  The bio-master is a bigger pea then the AWP and this is the first year trying it.  I mixed mine with wheat, rye, mustard, daikon and fava with just the grains and peas expected to survive till spring, maybe a few favas.  I'm tempted to pick out some of the yellow peas, maple peas, and green field peas from the chickens food and trying them all next spring.  Anyway, I'd be interested in swapping seed or helping out.

Gilbert Fritz

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Re: overwintering pea breeding
« Reply #5 on: 2018-11-08, 09:58:32 AM »
Thanks for the advice and comments everyone!

I'm glad to hear that some of you have had luck with overwintering peas. Denver weather is erratic, but I've found that in sunny locations the ground does not freeze deeply most years. Also, one advantage to sowing them into a perennial field would be that the dead grasses should provide quite a bit of mulch.

Brian, I've never grown Austrian winter peas; what are they like? Are the "bio-master" peas edible, or solely for biomass? I'd be happy to collaborate, and I'll have seed to swap if any of these plants make it through the winter. Some of them may be hybrid, yielding even more genetic diversity. Remind me on this thread next spring if I forget.

Besides my goal of a low input dry legume crop, I think overwintering peas for fresh eating would be a good idea here, to beat the hot weather.

Andrew Barney

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Re: overwintering pea breeding
« Reply #6 on: 2018-11-08, 12:25:44 PM »
Some of them may be hybrid, yielding even more genetic diversity. Remind me on this thread next spring if I forget.

Besides my goal of a low input dry legume crop, I think overwintering peas for fresh eating would be a good idea here, to beat the hot weather.

Also, while i havn't made a specific breeding project for peas that might be heat tolerant,  i suspect that i may have been selecting for it in many of the strains and varieties I've been growing. Many of the seed i already sent you does well for me here even well into june and July. This did not use to be the case from what i can remember.

Lots of people will say "try 'Wando' peas if you want heat tolerance,  but I've found Wando to be no different than average big box store sold peas in this regard and never grew them again. I've found more success just growing and selecting my own.

And yes there may be lots of hybrids in the seed i sent you and others,  both because I'm sloppy with my pea crosses and labels but also because i am now starting to wonder if bee crossings have been higher in my garden than i originally thought. I've noticed lots of various bee species loving my peas these last few seasons,  some being attracted to all the colorful flowers,  but i also saw a leaf cutter bee harvesting leaves for its nest. Cool stuff!

If anyone is interested in collaborating on a high-outcrossing pea project i have two separate germplasm pea varieties i have collected that may do the trick in higher natural out crossings. PM me or start a new thread if you want to talk about that. It was originally inspired by Joseph wanting true landrace peas.

Gilbert Fritz

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Re: overwintering pea breeding
« Reply #7 on: 2018-11-08, 06:24:58 PM »
Quote
If anyone is interested in collaborating on a high-outcrossing pea project i have two separate germplasm pea varieties i have collected that may do the trick in higher natural out crossings. PM me or start a new thread if you want to talk about that. It was originally inspired by Joseph wanting true landrace peas.

Please start a thread on this! I'm interested in getting peas to outcross.