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Mottled leaves on sugar peas

November 30, 2012

I am attempting to grow Burpee Mammoth Melting Snow Peas indoors. They are growing reasonably well, but this morning I noticed the leaves are becoming mottled. Is this normal? If not, what's wrong and what can I do about it?

Thank you in advance for any assistance you can provide.

Comments (10)

  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

    what is you light protocol???

    you arent making this easy ... i had to go to your members page.. to find your blog page .. to get even the least scintilla of facts about this whole thing ... and when i make my way down to the 11/19 entry.. i see the weirdest light set up i ever saw.. lol ... and dont get me wrong.. someone has to try new things ... do keep track.. of the difference between the plants on the ends.. closer to the lights.. versus those in the middle.. which sooner or later.. will perhaps suffer ...

    how warm is it in your basement .. inside the gizmo .. both when the lights are on.. and when they are off .... and is there any relation to what you are seeing.. and last time you opened it up

    frankly.. it looks similar to cold damage in late spring .. when i get veggies out in the garden too early ...

    i also wonder about your little pile of fert in each pot ... but i am banking on a temp issue.. rather than fert/humidity or ... well.. i dont know about the lights ...

    consider your base variables for growing a healthy plant.. and one of them.. has to be the culprit ....

    BTW.. how cold does the floor get??? cold roots are not happy roots.. with a summer producer ...


    ps: let us know who many extra hits you get.. now that i linked you.. lol ...

    Here is a link that might be useful: link

  • cpeds

    Thank you, Ken, for the response and for putting in so much effort! I certainly didn't expect that level of effort. I was hoping the photo would be enough to determine and if not I expected to have to answer questions. I wasn't sure what would be relevant.

    I have been toying with the idea of trying indoor aquaponics, just for the heck of it. However, in order to do that, I need to know how much light I need and I'd like to see that with my own eyes so I really understand it. Therefore, I am running an experiment.

    The lights are vertical and on the ends of the row instead of from above, that way each plant gets a consistent amount of light over its surface and plants further from the end get less light. The idea is that if any survive and produce food I can see how far from the light source they can do so.

    I'll measure the temperature at multiple spots, including the floor, and post that info tomorrow.

    The lights are currently on for 14 hours and off for 10.

    I removed the fertilizer yesterday. It turned moldy. Perhaps that is the problem? I put in less than the instructions said, but it was clearly too much.

  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

    Thank you, Ken, for the response and for putting in so much effort! I certainly didn't expect that level of effort.

    ==>> i was bored out of my mind .. lol ..

    my experience with pots ... is that you use a potting MEDIA.. and fertilizers engineered for pot use ... when i did light stand stuff.. i filled 5 gal. milk jugs with water ... and used 1/4 tsp water sol per gal with every watering ... and 5.. so it was room temp with the soil .. i actually kept it on the light stand ... water sol.. is the simplest way to gauge what you are doing .... i would not use time release ...

    when you start introducing ORGANICS ... you start contaminating your media ... [guess i am bored again.. lol] ...

    by adding your eponema .. you now introduced perhaps a mold.. and maybe a fungus.. and maybe some bacteria.. who knows.. just another variable that you will have to mess with ...

    but the thing i wonder most about.. is cold wet [beyond damp] potting media.. on a basement floor ... in winter.. wherever you are ... its been forever since i messed with peas.. but arent they prone to root issues.. ????

    i actually used to run my lights at night.. to keep the plants warm when the furnace kicked down ... and off cycle was when the heat was up ...

    last thing ... i was told.. that if your lights are on timers ... that the best time was 16 hours on.. 8 off.. and one on/off cycle during the off period.. will confuse the plants into thinking you are running the lights 24 hours a day.. and that you will see increased growth ... since my timer had extra cycles.. i did it.. and believed.. and have never looked into the science as to whether i was a sucker.. or its actually feasible. . lol ..

    anyway.. good luck


  • cpeds

    I changed the timer so it is on for 16 hours and off for 8 now.

    I measured the temperature, three hours after the lights went off. The ambient air was 69 degrees and the soil was 65. I'll check again tomorrow while the lights are on.

    I won't be adding that type of fertilizer any more. I'll find something I can mix in with the water.

  • rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

    That's perfectly normal for many species of sugar peas. I grow some every year in the garden and I'd guess that about half the time the leaves are mottled exactly like yours. I've not kept records about the species; I like to try different ones almost every year.

  • cpeds

    Thanks rihzo_1, it's good to hear that someone else has this mottled color with normal results.

    Ken, I checked the temperature again, this time after the lights had been on for several hours. The ambient air outside the artificial greenhouse is 65 degrees, the light bulbs are 90 degrees, the air within two inches of the lights is 69 degrees, the air in the middle of the greenhouse is 67 degrees, the soil in the end pots is 63 degrees, the soil in the middle pots is 64 degrees.

  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

    so.. i dont know what that means.. lol ...

    just keep track of it.. i offered such as a variable.. but not as a variable that i know anything about ..

    is the top of your gizmo covered.. you could probably get that heat up to a balmy 70 on the light ballasts heat alone for the cost of some plastic on top ..

    or that might screw it all up.. lol ... by restricting air movement ...

    i never looked.. but is there a forum for growing under lights???

    i have had fun entertaining you.. take care .. and let us know how it all works out ... how many you actually get to eat ... vs the cost of electric.. and how much your harvest ends up costing you .... [of course the value of the fun you are having.. will offset all that]


  • cpeds

    Thanks for all your help. Everything you've said has given me food for thought. I'll reply again once I know the results of this experiment.

  • jean001a

    As rhizo said, that sort of coloration is normal.

  • cpeds

    Thank you, jean001a. It is good to know this is normal.

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