...and it did so in spectacular fashion. I am not sure what happened... on Monday we were in the backyard, picking peas and eating them right from the plant... and then on Thursday, this:
You can see that the plants were starting to yellow, and upon closer inspection, even the leaves that were still green had turned a little... weird.
Which brings us to the sort of garden mystery that I just don't have answers for. Had we just reached the natural end of pea season? Did my pea plants contract a disease? Has the recent (oppressively) hot weather accelerated the end of pea season? They are, after all, an "early," or "cool weather" crop, and we've had a few consecutive days of 90+ temperatures.
What I did was remove the plants entirely - whatever the cause, they were clearly no longer healthy and weren't really producing many peas anymore (very noticeable, as this was the most productive plant I have ever experienced). Of course I first removed the last healthy-looking snap peas (you can see my perforated
plastic veggie-collecting bag in the background of the photo below, which I
find very classy). The plants themselves easy to take out because they have very
small roots and grow pretty shallow. Harder was removing the multitude
of stakes I'd been adding over the past few weeks. Then I raked the
dirt, threw in a little fertilizer (we use 10-10-10, which is just a
very basic, general purpose fertilizer) and that was pretty much it.
Now, I just need to consider what to put in their place. And remember that sugar snap peas are definitely on my list for next year. We had a nice run!