How to: Grow sweet peas



Sweet peas are at the very heart of cottage-garden flowers. They're just the things for scrambling up a wigwam of canes, and have the added bonus of transforming from seed to a beautiful flowering plant in just a few weeks.

But that's not all. Sweet peas make brilliant cut flowers. They’re easy to sow too, with big seeds that are easy to handle and quick to sprout – there are few flowers that are more rewarding to grow.  

What you'll need: 

  • Plant label
  • Watering can
  • Bamboo canes
  • Garden string
  • Scissors

How to grow sweet peas:

Step 1
Soak your seeds in a little water overnight. This softens their shells and helps them sprout into life.

Step 2
Fill your seed trays, pots or loo rolls with multi-purpose compost and water it well. Go gently so it doesn’t spill over the edge.

Step 3
Sow one or two seeds per module/pot, simply pushing them into the compost with your finger. Make sure they’re fully covered.

Step 4
Keep your seeds on a greenhouse shelf or a windowsill indoors. They should sprout within a few days.

Step 5
Grow the seedlings on, putting them outdoors during the day if the weather is fine. Nip off the top of the seedlings when a few pairs of leaves have formed

Step 6
Continue watering your sweet peas, planting them outside where you want them to flower in April or May, after the risk of severe frosts.

Step 7
Make sure the sweet peas have something to scramble up – a wigwam made from bamboo canes or a metal obelisk is ideal.

Step 8
Watch your sweet peas as they cling to their support, begin to climb and then flower. Water them regularly if we don’t have much rain.   

 

How to: Grow sweet peas

Cut sweet peas flowers as soon as they open, never letting blooms form seed pods – this will keep the display coming all summer.

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Cut sweet peas flowers as soon as they open, never letting blooms form seed pods – this will keep the display coming all summer.