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Weed Management in Bean and Pea (Bush, Pole, Lima Bean, English Pea, and Southern Pea)1

Peter J. Dittmar, Nathan S. Boyd, and Ramdas Kanissery 2

Weeds are a major problem in bean and pea production in Florida. Weeds can reduce yields through direct competition for light, moisture, and nutrients, as well as harbor insects and diseases that attack these crops. Early season weed control is extremely important, and a major emphasis on control should be made during this period. Weeds present at harvest reduce harvest efficiency and increase mechanical damage to the pods.

Beans or peas are planted year-round in Florida. Variable climatic conditions and soil types influence the severity and diversity of weed species. Growers should plan a total weed control program that integrates chemical, mechanical, and cultural methods to fit their weed problems and production practices.

Herbicide performance depends on weather, irrigation, soil type and proper product selection for weed species to be controlled, and accurate applications and timing. Obtain consistent results by reading the herbicide label and other information about proper application and timing.

There has been some confusion about the labeling of certain beans and peas. The southern pea is a Vigna species. Vigna species are considered beans. Therefore, if the term "beans" appears on the label, the material may be applied to both Phasealus and Vigna species. These include snap beans, lima beans, and southern peas. If a label states "green beans," it may only be applied to green-colored beans, while the term "snap bean" may also be applied to the wax types. "Peas" do not include the southern pea, but they do include English peas and pigeon peas. Make sure you read the label carefully for each commodity.

When applying an herbicide for the first time in a new area, use on a small trial basis first.

Before applying an herbicide, carefully read and follow the label.


Table 1. 

Preemergence chemical weed control in bean and pea

Table 2. 

Herbicides applied after crop emergence for weed control in pea and bean.

Table 3. 

Harvest aids in bean and pea


1. This document is HS188, one of a series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date January 1996. Revised August 2003, October 2006, March 2010, July 2012, December 2015, and January 2019. Visit the EDIS website at for the currently supported version of this publication.
2. Peter J. Dittmar, assistant professor, Horticultural Sciences Department; Nathan S. Boyd, Gulf Coast Research and Education Center; and Ramdas Kanissery, assistant professor, Southwest Florida REC; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The use of trade names in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information. UF/IFAS does not guarantee or warranty the products named, and references to them in this publication do not signify our approval to the exclusion of other products of suitable composition. All chemicals should be used in accordance with directions on the manufacturer's label. Use pesticides safely. Read and follow directions on the manufacturer's label.

Publication #HS188

Date: 1/17/2019



    • Nathan Boyd
    • Peter Dittmar