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Garden Ideas / Herbs, Fruit & Veg

5 Tips for Growing Sweet Peas Like a Professional

Growing Sweet PeasSweet peas are one of the most rewarding plants you can grow in your garden.  Humans have been growing sweet peas for centuries, with the earliest written records dating as far back as the late 17th century.

Over 300 years of cultivation, gardeners have developed an astonishing array of different styles and colors, most of which still have the signature sweet scent that helped to make them so popular.

The wonderful fragrance of these beautiful blooms can fill your entire garden.  And they’re great for cutting if you want to bring the wonderful smells of your flower garden indoors.


Growing Sweet Peas the Easy Way

Some gardeners struggle with sweet peas year after year.  These plants are somewhat finicky.  They appreciate special care and attention, and they do not tolerate neglect.

There are a few tips and tricks that can help you to have success, and I’m going to share them with you below.


Tip #1 – Germinating Sweet Pea Seeds

Sweet peas can be seeded directly, or they can be started early in containers.  For direct seeding, plant seeds 1-inch deep and 3-inches apart.  The optimum time to start them depends on where you live (more on this below).

To get the best germination results, scarify the seeds before sowing by creating slightly nicking the seeds’ outer coatings with a file or nail clippers.  Soaking the seeds overnight in a dish of water will help as well.


Tip #2 – When to Plant Sweet Peas

When growing sweet peas, heat is more of a concern that cold.  They thrive in consistently cool conditions.  Sweet peas can tolerate a light frost but must be protected below 25 F.

If you have mild winters, sow sweet peas in the fall as soon as summer temperatures have dropped.  If you have moderate winters, wait and start them first thing in the spring as soon as the threat of frost has passed.


Tip #3 – Where to Plant Sweet Peas

If you are direct seeding, plant sweet peas in the richest garden soil you have available. They will thrive in a soil that is rich in organic matter.  If you’re growing them in a new bed, use a good garden tiller to work compost deep into the soil.

Sweet peas enjoy full sun, although in southern climates they will benefit from afternoon shade.


Tip #4 – Caring for Sweet Peas

Sweet peas appreciate consistently moist soil with good drainage.  They will benefit from a mild fertilizer applied a few times during the growing season.

Consider using drip irrigation or an oscillating sprinkler and a timer to make sure that soil does not become overly dry.


Tip #5 – Cut Bouquets Frequently

You will get more flowers if you cut away mature blooms.  Cut bouquets from your sweet peas early and often to enjoy the maximum number of new blooms every season.


Share Your Knowledge about Sweet Peas

Follow the advice above and you’ll enjoy these wonderfully aromatic and beautiful flowers all season long.

And please do share what you know if you’re an expert on sweet peas.  Have you learned any tips or tricks that I forgot to include in this article?  If so, use the comments section below to share your knowledge.

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