Irish Gardeners Forum Home
 FAQFAQ   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 
Weather Report /
Moon Phase for Ireland

Post new topic   Reply to topic    Irish Gardeners Forum Home -> Container gardening in Ireland, including Annual Bedding Plants

Growing sweet peas, still loads of time.

Most Recent Posts Hello to everybody
Last post: Greengage
Put your thinking caps on for a Donegal garden
Last post: medieval knievel
Rowan seeds/berries wanted for free or seeds of choice
Last post: tagwex
...What did you do Today...
Last post: Margo
Author Message
James Kilkelly
Rank: Site Admin

Joined: 30 May 2006
Posts: 2121
Location: West of Ireland

PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 6:59 pm    Post subject: Growing sweet peas, still loads of time. Reply with quote

Beautiful pastel colours from sweet pea, photo / picture / image.

As an easy-grow flower to offer cuttings for your house it's hard to beat the sweet pea. Their rapid growth rate, vibrant colours, and candy-like scent have made them firm favourites ever since their crossbreeding and development in late Victorian era. For those days that you don't have time to get out into the garden, just inhaling the fragrance of cut sweet pea transports you outdoors.

They are ideally suited to our climate too, as they prefer cool temperatures and require plenty of moisture to thrive. Add in a fair dash of sunshine, and it's "game on".

Whether you want to grow them for cottage garden decoration, home decoration, or a bit of both, then now is the time to get your sweet pea in. You have two options, pot or tray grow plants from your local garden centre, or else start your own plants from seed. There is still a load of time for both.

Soil preparation and sowing.
Whether you are growing from seed or from young plants the incorporation of well-rotted compost to at least a spades depth is vital on all soils growing sweet peas. You will need to add approx a bucketful of this per square metre to increase the supply of food to your plants and retain water at their roots. Ideally, this soil amendment should be carried out at least two or three months before sowing to allow soil settlement.

The pea seeds can be sown where they are to grow during April and May. Seeds should be planted by trowel, 13mm (1/2 inch) deep and 20cm (8in) apart. I will often sow with a few extra backup seeds sown at the end of the row or within pots to replace any failed germinators.

Need materials?
Irish home delivery.

Need materials?
UK home delivery.

Need materials?
US home delivery.

Most sweet pea varieties will grow to about 2m (6ft) tall and unless supported will just sprawl across the ground, so therefore they require support to this height. A capital "A" shaped arch can be created by criss-crossing supports and lashing them together at the top, some eight-foot tall hazel/willow branches or bamboo canes are ideal for this purpose. Be aware that this structure must be very secure to cope with all the peas foliage on a wet and windy day.

To create a summer focal point there are extremely decorative garden obelisks available to buy now in garden centres and hardware stores. These upright 4-sided or inverted cone shaped structures, usually woven from willow, look great clothed in sweet pea blossom. If space is limited within your site, your sweet peas can also be grown on an existing fence or wall, once some sheep wire is securely attached to it.

Encourage sweet pea growth.
Whichever form of support you choose, there are things you can do to encourage your sweet peas to begin their long climb to the top, for example, I suggest you offer them some horticultural twine to cling to. Twine or string tied about half way up the supports, winding its way down the poles, will give the peas tendrils more to grab hold of initially. You may also use some of this string, in the beginning, to tie the bean plants loosely to their supports.

As I mentioned earlier your sweet peas require a plentiful supply of water right throughout their life, but especially when the flowers form. As a rough rule of thumb, the plants will require one watering can (10 litres) of water per square metre, twice a week in dry weather. This water applied slowly, combined with the well-rotted compost you dug in during soil preparation, will be enough to soak the plants roots ensuring a colourful and fragrant summer.

Before I go, let me share with you my top tip when growing sweet peas...
Once the plants are 10cm (4 inches) high you should pinch out the tops of the plants just above a leaf joint. This simple step encourages vigorous side shoots which means you end up with bushy, flower laden plants.

Any queries or comments on Growing sweet peas, still loads of time, please post below.

Gardening books. Ireland's allotments.
On Twitter...

Garden Consultation & Design.

Try my Garden Design home study course!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Irish Gardeners Forum Home -> Container gardening in Ireland, including Annual Bedding Plants All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1


Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You can attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group

Privacy Policy | Copyright © 2006 - 2015 (part of