When spring peas are getting plump and ready to harvest, I plant bean seeds in the same row. It’s a fabulous way to keeping the trellis producing food all season long. Before the young bean plants are ready to start climbing, it’s time to remove the dying pea stalks.
I cut the pea vines at ground level for a couple of reasons. Firstly, if I pull up the pea by the root, I might disturb the young bean plants, which is not ideal. Secondly, it is very valuable to leave the roots of the pea plants in the soil for nitrogen.
Peas, beans and other legumes have a special ability to take nitrogen from the air and store it within their root system. The nitrogen helps the plant grow and form a high protein food source. When the pea plant dies, the fixed nitrogen, which is store in nodules on the roots, is released to the soil and becomes available to other plants.
After the roots are cut, it’s much easier to remove the spent pea stalks, making way for summer pole beans to take over the trellis. Give this a try and let me know how it works for you!