The sweetest pea of all
Sweet Peas really are to me one of the sweetest to look at and deliciously fragrant annuals you can grow in the garden. And it’s getting close to planting time! In Australia, the traditional day for sowing Sweet Peas is on St Patrick’s Day, March 17th , but of course in our dramatically different climate zones, sowing can be on either side of that date. Generally if it is the right time to plant peas then same goes for Sweet Peas.
There are both dwarf and climbing types. Usually the climbing types are less prone to mildew and flower over a longer period, which I prefer for my wet and humid climate. You could try growing them on a trellis, a Pea and Bean Net or make a tripod using a Green Harvest Tripod Topper. The best soil temperature for germination is between 4.5 – 21°C which is quite a range; it will take about 6 – 14 days for your seedlings to pop through the earth. Preparing where I will be sowing is fairly straightforward – a position in full sun and sheltered from wind is what they prefer. A couple of weeks before sowing I add compost and some lime to ensure that the soil is rich, fertile and well drained.
I soak the seed in water for 12 – 24 hours prior to placing in the ground and then sow directly into my garden bed to 2 – 2.5 cm deep, about 8 cm apart along the row. Lightly mulching seed rows will prevent crusting.
Image: Photo by Vicky Brock from Flickr, shared under a Creative Commons licence.
To promote and prolong flowering, it’s best to remove spent flowers and young pods. And then – Joy! Pick early in the morning and take a bunch to friends and family and brighten someone’s day.
With wings of gentle flush o’er delicate white,
And taper fingers catching at all things,
To bind them all about with tiny rings.”
John Keats ‘I stood tip-toe upon a little hill‘
Posted in Organic Gardening