I started this blog to get to know other gardeners and track my own garden's progrss. It is a wonderful way to honor the stewardship I have over my plot of ground I have been blessed with. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I Planted My Sweet Peas This Week!

I love Sweet Peas! Both of my grandmother's grew them. I remember their wonderful fragrance and how beautiful they were. We used to sit in their shade and watch as bee's would fly into them. I have always wanted to plant Sweet Pea's. Several years ago we added a play yard area with a little picket fence around it. The perfect spot for sweet pea's.

Sweet Pea's have to be planted in the spring first thing. They need cool weather to get established but once they start they explode!
We woke up to a little snow this morning, this is a picture of the area I planted yesterday. One of the great things about Sweet Pea's, they will be just fine!

How to plant sweet peas:
1 - You need to prepare your soil bed. Clean it out, turn the dirt over and make it loose.
2 - Dig a trench about 2 inches deep and you are ready to plant. Some people nick their seeds. It will help them to absorb water and germinate a little faster. I have never done that, but others do.
3 - I put down 3 seeds per every 3 inches or so.
4 - Cover them up with the dirt and then water.
5 - I add a little of my homemade brew fertilizer and it is done!

Make sure you water them every other day or so until you see them germinate which takes about 10 days to two weeks. If it rains (or snows), then mother nature does that for me! After they grow and are blooming, if you pick the flowers you will have them blooming until it freezes in the fall.
Pictures from last year
These show how quickly they grow and fill in.

This was taken late May - you can see little plants starting to grow along the picket fence. ~*~*~*~

Just a couple of weeks later they are taller and starting to produce flowers.
See how much they have filled in, this was taken in mid- July, they continue to grow and fill in. By summer's end you can't see the fence anymore and the fragrance drifts all over the yard.

Sweet Peas
by the National Garden Bureau
Sweet peas are one of the easiest flowering annuals to start from seed. Sweet peas need a site with full to partial sun and deep, rich, loamy, moist but well-drained soil. Add plenty of organic matter (compost, well-rotted manure, leaf mold, or humus) to enrich the soil and make it more friable.
Timing by Region
Each region has its own unique "season" for growing sweet peas. See article for detailed regional plantinf information
Preparing Seed
Sweet peas will need about 50 days of cool temperatures (under 60º F) to bloom gloriously in your garden. Sweet pea seed has a hard, water insoluble seed coat. Nicking the outside coating of a sweet pea seed with a nail clipper will allow rapid hydration of seeds and does both speed and increase germination. Sweet pea seed will germinate in soil at temperatures of 55º to 65º F or 13º to 18º C.
Sowing Seed
Plant seeds in holes that are about two inches (two knuckles) deep. Drop two to four seeds per hole, with holes spaced four to six inches apart. Water thoroughly and keep soil moist until seeds have sprouted. Expect germination in about 10 to 21 days. Once the seedlings are growing, water regularly to promote strong, healthy growth.
Staking Sweet Pea's
When planting tall, long vine sweet peas, it’s best to place the stake or support in the ground at the same time as the seed or transplants to avoid damaging the roots. Trellises, bird netting strung between two stakes, string, twine, or fishing line hung from the top of a split rail fence, a bamboo teepee, brush stakes - all are good verticals for sweet peas to climb
Garden Care
Do not over fertilize or you’ll wind up with very deep green leaves but few flowers. A balanced 20-20-20 slow release fertilizer blended into the soil at planting time works fine for the initial plant development. Allowing the plant to produce seedpods will reduce overall flower production. Removing spent blooms will ensure more blooms. (Article has more detailed information.)


Connie said...

I love the pictures, and the info on sweet peas! Thanks for sharing.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Jean said...

I love sweet peas too! I have them growing over an old wheelbarrow. To see how I made the window box, click on the words window box in my post. Jean

Elena said...

Just beautiful! I love Sweet Peas!

Carla said...

Cool, sweet peas are a cold weather crop here in ETexas, and a short one at that. I love the smell of a sweet pea.

Tootsie said...

interesting post! I have enjoyed my visit to your blog...thanks so much for joining me for Fertilizer Friday....I hope to see you again!

Click on OLDER POSTS to see more gardening posts