The sweet pea vine, which can be of any color, is a favorite in cottage gardens, climbing over trellises and fences. It’s also used in containers that spill over the sides.
Some state that you can plant sweet peas in February or March, depending on your growing zone, while others say that you can plant them any time from February to July. Whatever the case, here are some tips for growing your very own sweet peas.
Basic Care for Sweet Peas
Most sweet peas need full sun, and the colors will be the most intense in a sunny location. They will also grow in partial shade, but will not produce many blossoms.
Sweet peas need full sun, and the colors will be the most intense in a sunny location. They will also grow in partial shade, but will not produce many blossoms.
They like rich well-drained soil that does not hold water after rain. If your soil tends to be heavy, add sand or organic matter. Work the soil at least a month before planting to get a good seedbed.
Alfalfa meal is another good addition to your sweet pea planting soil since it adds nitrogen.
Light is important for sweet peas, and if your area is shady, you can use grow lights to provide the sun’s rays. Use a timer for the lights so you don’t forget about them.
If you are using grow lights, you need to have them about a foot above the plants. Too much light will burn the leaves, too little light will make the plants weak and floppy. The leaves should be a nice green color.
2) Temperature and Humidity
Sweet peas like temperatures between 55 and 85 degrees F. They may not be able to survive temperatures below 40 degrees F. If your area gets really cold, bring the plants inside, and return them outdoors once temperatures have warmed up.
3) Soil and Soaker Hose
Sweet peas need well-drained soil that is at least five inches deep. Loosen the soil with a tiller and mix in some compost.
If you are not sure about your soil, plant the sweet peas in pots and transplant them in the garden once you know the soil is suitable.
Plant the sweet peas in containers near a soaker hose so you can keep the soil moist without having to get on your hands and knees to water.
The amount of fertilizer you need to use will depend upon your soil, so check with your county extension about the best soil tests for you to have done.
Sweet peas require a lot of fertilizer, so use a high-nitrogen fertilizer, or scatter bone meal or blood meal around the plant once a week.
Pruning is not necessary for sweet peas, but if your area has a lot of winds or storms, you can tie the plants to a trellis to keep them from being blown over or being broken by the wind.
As the sweet pea vine gets long, tie it to the trellis as it grows. Individual plants can grow over six feet long.
Sweet peas are beautiful, fragrant flowers and are a joy to grow. With the proper care and a little luck, you will have sweet peas to enjoy for years to come.
If you want to learn more about growing your own home garden, refer to Blossom & Broom. We are an edible garden tips blog with all the resources you need. Browse through our posts to see for yourself!