Sowing Directly in the Garden:
- Sweet pea seed has a hard seed coat. To aid germination, soak the seed in water before sowing.
- Direct sow seeds in average soil in full sun in early spring. In frost-free areas, sow from fall to early spring.
peas are climbers, and need some sort of support around which they can
wrap their tendrils. They can climb a fence, trellis or even strings.
Dwarf cultivars need no support.
- Prepare the soil by removing weeds and working organic matter into the top 6-8 inches of soil; then level and smooth.
plants respond well to soils amended with organic matter. Compost is a
wonderful form of organic matter with a good balance of nutrients and an
ideal pH level, it can be added to your planting area at any time. If
compost is not available, top dress the soil after planting with 1-2
inches of organic mulch, which will begin to breakdown into compost.
After the growing season, a soil test will indicate what soil amendments
are needed for the following season.
- Sow seeds 3 inches apart and cover with 2 inches of fine soil.
- Firm soil lightly and keep evenly moist.
- Seedlings will emerge in 10-14 days depending on the soil and weather conditions.
- Thin plants to stand 6 inches apart when plants are 1 to 2 inches high.
weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with
plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either
cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from
- Mulches also help retain soil moisture and
maintain even soil temperatures. For annuals an organic mulch of
shredded leaves lends a natural look to the bed and will improve the
soil as it breaks down in time. Always keep mulches off a plant’s stems
to prevent possible rot.
- Plants need about 1 inch of rain per
week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you
need to add water. It's best to water with a drip or trickle system that
delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with
overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to
dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil
moist but not saturated.
- Until plants become established, some
protection from extreme winds and direct, hot sunlight may be necessary.
Good air movement is also important.
- Do not fertilize unless
the plants are showing a nutrient deficiently. If you over fertilize,
sweet peas may produce lush foliage at the expense of flowers.
- Remove spent flower heads to keep plants flowering.
- Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
- Remove plants after they are killed by frost in fall to avoid disease issues the following year.
- Sweet pea vines need little care and are easy to grow.
- In the cool weather of spring, sweet peas add a wonderful old-fashioned feel to flower beds, trellises, and containers.
- Fragrant flowers are excellent for cutting.
- Sweet peas perform best in cool weather. They can tolerate a light frost.
Sun: Full Sun
Height: 72-144 inches
Spread: 48-72 inches
Ornamental Use: Borders, Cut Flowers, Trellis or Lattice
Life Cycle: Annual
Sow Method: Direct Sow
Bloom Duration: 8 weeks
Flower color: Blue, Pink, Purple, Red, White