Now the days are starting to warm up you can start planting out your sweet peas. Sweet peas are an absolute joy to grow and will produce vase-fulls of beautiful scented flowers throughout the summer. If you have not grown sweet peas before you really should give it a go and here is how:
- To begin you need to choose which sweet peas you would like to grow. There are many varieties to choose from. Some of our favorites are “Spencer mix” for a great mix of bright colours and scent, “High scent” for their delicate blooms with amazing scent as well as “Cupid” which is a small tumbling variety ideal for window boxes and hanging baskets.
Once you have chosen your sweet peas you will need the following:
A container with drainage holes, Good compost such as a multi-purpose compost with added “John Innes” will be perfect, Water retaining gel and a support.
2. Now half fill your container with your compost and firm it down. Add 2 – 3 teaspoons of water retaining gel. Read the instructions on the back of the packet; you do not want to add too much as it will expand once wet.
3. Now fill the rest of your container with compost and insert your support. Push your support deeply into the compost. You do not want a wobbly support. I have used a willow obelisk but you could also use bamboo canes.
4. Your pot of sweet peas will contain many seedlings. Gently separate them as they will need space to grow.
5. Using my finger i make a hole for each of the seedlings in the compost. Do not put more than 2 seedlings against each cane of your support. Too many seedlings in a pot will result in powdery mildew.
6. Now water them in.
When your seedlings reach 4 – 6 inches tall it is a good idea to pinch out the growing tips. This will encourage good branching and stronger plants. Feed your sweet peas every 2 weeks with a general fertilizer or tomato food. Grow your sweet peas in full sun for best results. When they reach full height and begin to flower, dead head regularly. The more you harvest your sweet peas the more they will flower!