Its sweet pea time of year again and the scent is filling my house, the office, the gardens and the tearoom. For those of you that are searching for some answers to your sweet pea questions, hopefully this may help:
If you have Sweet Peas looking a bit weedy remember that they love a deep root run and are quite greedy feeders. ‘Well, thanks for that’ you say ‘but its a bit late now, they are in my poor soil and will have to get on with it.’ In which case, you can use a foliar feed when watering and you will find they reward you by picking up speed.
|L. odoratus ‘Mars’|
Support your plants on drums of sheep netting or against poles. Remember though that the tendrils need something thin to wrap themselves around and will need tying in initially. They cannot grip onto bamboo canes so add some pea netting over your structure.
Keep picking the flowers as they appear, not too difficult a task. Once a sweet pea has set seed, a message goes to the whole plant to say its job is done and it will stop flowering.
If you haven’t sown any sweet peas this year and find some small plants in pots at a garden centre, it is not too late. You will have to wait until September for the flowers but it will be worth it.
|Lathyrus grandiflora mixture|
Cutting and arranging: Make sure you use a pair of scissors rather than a knife which tends to pull on the plant and damage it. You can’t get a duff posy of sweet peas and I think they look best on their own. For the short stemmed types use a little narrow necked container like a vintage medicine bottle. For big long stems you can use a flared vase.
If your sweet peas are looking a bit ropey this year, feed them, keep deadheading and give them time, it has been a particularly difficult start to the season, with dry weather and late frosts.
If Sweet pea growing has evaded you for this year; come and see ours.