Sweet Peas

Sweet Peas are one of the most best known of garden flowers. They make excellent cut flowers and some have a delightful fragrance. They are all in the Fabaceae family.

Almost all are vines although the shorter (knee high) variety does not grow as tall. You will need to have a trellis or other climbing medium for them to latch onto.

Sweet Pea seeds have a hard coating so can be difficult to germinate. To hasten this it helps to soak them for a few hours before planting. Start in early spring in peat pots, planting 3-4 seeds per pot, then plating the pots apprx 1 ft apart, thinning after seedlings appear choosing the strongest. Plant directly in the soil once the ground has warmed about 1 inch deep and 1-2 in apart. Thin to no less than 6 in apart. Sweet Peas vines need plenty of water. Will tolerate aridity. Once established cut flowers every couple of days to prolong blooms and remove any seed pods. In ideal conditions Sweet Peas will re-seed and naturalize although the birds often get them as well. It helps to treat seed with fungicide as they are susceptible. Full sun. Fertilize to prolong blooms. Typically spring bloomer but some may go into summer.

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