Growing Sweet Peas

How to Grow Sweet Peas

Sweet peas are rewarding for their fantastic scented flowers. The down side to growing sweet peas is they are time consuming, and so are Colour Coded red.

Sweet Peas need regular attention throughout the summer by dead heading, removing tendrils and watering during dry spells

              • How to germinate
              • Looking after Seedlings          red wheel barrow growing sweet peas
              • Pinching out
              • Planting out
              • Growing on
Video How to plant and grow sweet peas 

 

 

 

growing sweet peas

Growing Sweet Peas From Seed

 Sweet Peas are easy to germinate and buying seed gives a wider  choice of fragrance and colour, but it is more time consuming. Many of the garden centres sell Sweet Peas seeds in mixed colours which is good, but it is also nice to have some single colours, as above, to contrast and compliment other summer flowering plants. This type of sweet pea is an annual.

The time to sow sweet peas in Feb/March. Sweet Peas need heat to germinate and place on warm windowsill or heated propagator, about 15C/ 59F. When growing Sweet Peas,  the choice of container is important; Sweet Peas have long roots which means it's important to plant them into a deep container not a regular pot. You can either use root trainers sold by all garden centres, or cheaper and just as easy, toilet roll holders.  Put two/three seeds into the container placing the seed near the top to give plenty of room for the roots to grow down. Sprinkle with a light covering of compost, spray with water so moist not too wet and place in a warm place. It's essential for germination to cover with a lid or clear polythene. Germination should occur within a few days and as soon as the sweet pea seedling is a few centimetres above the soil, if in a heated propagator remove so as to prevent the seedling getting too warm which will make it sappy and not very sturdy. Only use the heat to speed up germination.

 

 

sweet pea tips_ 

 Sweet peas in flower

Growing on Sweet peas

Grow the sweet peas in the root trainers and when they are a decent few centimetres tall, pinch out the leading shoot which will make the plant bush and produce side shoots which eventually will produce more stems and flowers for each plant. Sweet Peas can be planted out from March/April depending on where  in the country you are gardening, and the weather. To get the plants off to a good growing start, don't plant out when it's  cold and wet, wait until the weather and the soil has warmed up.

When growing sweet peas, because they are climbing plants, they need support and something to climb up. A tall Obelisk, fence with trellis or netting. It's a nice idea to plant a few near the veg plot,  to enjoy the Sweet Pea scent when you are in the plot and it encourages the bees and pollinators to visit.

When planting out disturb the roots a little as possible and plant quite close together for a good show,and deep enough to settle the roots. Tie in to give support and water well.

As you are growing sweet peas bear in mind they are hungry feeders and enrich the soil with organic matter. This is especially so if you intend to grow Sweet Peas in the same place each year. Before planting out add some compost to the area and if they are not flowering as well as you anticipated add in some regular feeds.

Tips on growing sweet peas

When growing Sweet peas the young plants need to be tied in regularly as they grow up the support. Don't make the mistake of letting the tendrils support the plants. This is really  important when growing sweet peas, to pay attention to the Tendrils. The photo opposite illustrates, the thin stems without flowers running off the plant are tendrils.

The presence of tendrils can suggest the plant is self clinging and so will support itself  via tendrils. In one way it can, but if it is left to do this unchecked, as the Sweet Peas mature, the tendrils grab or catch other parts of the Sweet Pea plant, or adjacent plants,  which causes the plant to become bunched, which twists the stems so the Sweet Peas don't have those lovely long stems. Towards the end of the season the Sweet Peas can look a mess all bunched up and matted together . If the tendrils are allowed to grow, instead of growing up the obelisk with nice stems, the Sweet Peas will bunch up into a tangled mess. When growing Sweet Peas, every week remove 90% of the tendrils. This may mean in the early days of growing you need to tied in the plants to give them some support, other than the tendrills.

It is also essential  when growing sweet peas to pick the flowers regularly  and don't allow any seed pods to form. If seed pods form the plants will stop flowering so remove  and deadhead to ensure the Sweet Peas continue to flower throughout the Summer . If the weather is dry Sweet Peas require watering. The decision whether to grow sweet peas is really a question of how much you like them and how much time you have. Sweet Peas are definitely colour coded red.

single pink sweet pea

 

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