Few flowers dance so charmingly through the
like old-fashioned Sweet Peas!
Twirling, shimmying and somersaulting amid neighbors and up trellises – our sweetest Sweet Peas are ESSENTIAL to our Spring gardens – providing eye-lifting verticality, a rainbow of long-lasting cheer and perhaps most importantly – that beguiling, instantly recognizable fragrance we all know and love!
Visitors to our nursery in April and May are always astonished at how exuberant and floriferous our Sweet Pea displays are – and want to know how we do it. Lucky for them (and you!) – it couldn't be easier! Just follow our five easy steps for Sweet Pea Success – starting with the easiest and best thing you can do: PLANT NOW!
Just like their equally essential, cottage companions, Breadseed Poppies, Sweet Peas are HARDY ANNUALS, which means – repeat after moi – you must get them in the ground early in order to appreciate their full potential! Planting Sweet Peas now in temperate climates like ours (USDA zone 8 and up) gives them plenty of time to go to town underground, growing a robust network of roots soaking up all this glorious rain!
5-steps to Sweet (Pea) Success:
1. PLANT EARLY! Temperate areas (USDA zones 8, 9 and 10) should plant Sweet Peas now for biggest and best Spring bloom. They're hardy annuals and can handle frost just fine. Gardeners in colder climes should plant when the soil can be worked in early Spring.
2. Grow them in RICH SOIL or they'll be sad! Compost, compost, compost - especially in Winter when they're establishing roots!
3. Bait for snails! Young Sweet Peas can succumb to slimy savages. Once established – 8 inches tall or so – you can let them fend for themselves.
4. Provide support – Sweet Peas need something to climb on – an informal teepee of stakes, a trellis, a neighboring shrub? Anything it can get its tendrils around will work just fine.
5. Cut often! Once your Sweet Peas start blooming, cutting flowers encourages MORE blooming and extends bloom. Toward the end of the season, leave some seed pods on the plant so they will RESEED for next year's bounty of FREE plants!