To grow sweet peas from seed: first soak your seeds for 24 hours prior to planting. Plant seeds 1/2 inch deep, 4 to 6 inches apart. Use a trellis to support your sweet peas. Once your plants are 6 inches tall, pinch them back about an inch to encourage them to grow fuller and more abundant. Secure your sweet peas to your trellis as needed. Continually harvest your sweet peas for a long season of stunning blooms.
Sweet peas hold a special place in my gardening practice. Sweet peas are wild and delicate all at once. Their fragrance is an added bonus.
where to buy sweet pea seeds
Some of my favorite seed companies to buy sweet peas from are Botanical Interests and Floret Flower Farm. Floret will be releasing their sweet pea seeds on January 5th. Here are some of my favorite varieties:
- Bouquet Blend, Botanical Interests
- Perfume Delight, Botanical Interests
- Old Spice, Botanical Interests
To shop all of my seed starting essentials, click here.
preparing the soil
Amend your planting area with at least one inch of compost.
Choose a planting area that has well-draining soil. If you are using a container, make sure that it is tall enough to allow and support the sweet peas’ expansive root system. If you choose a container too small, or that is poorly draining, your sweet peas will either become stunted or not grow at all.
soak your seeds
First, I highly recommend soaking your sweet pea seeds for about 12 to 24 hours before planting. Soaking first helps your sweet pea seeds to germinate.
plant your seeds
Direct sow your pre-soaked sweet pea seeds 1/2 inch deep, 4 to 6 inches apart.
sun and water requirements
Choose a planting area that gets full sun with at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. Keep the planting area moist until your seeds germinate. After your seeds germinate, water when the top 1 inch of soil becomes dry.
Find a sturdy trellis for your sweet peas to climb up. The best trellis will be at least 4 feet tall.
SOME TRELLIS IDEAS:
From left to right: Expandable Pea Trellis, Classic Willow Teepee, Titan Teepee Trellis
pinching back sweet peas
Once your sweet peas reach 6 inches tall, pinch them back about an inch to the next leaf. Pinching back your sweet peas, will encourage your sweet pea plant to fill in more full and with more abundant blooms.
Sweet peas are relatively low maintenance after the initial planting. I recommend tying your sweet peas to your trellis on an as needed basis.
when to harvest
For the longest vase life, harvest your sweet peas right before they open. Otherwise, you can harvest your sweet peas throughout the season as the blooms open.
As the sweet pea season ends in late spring, early summer, leave your pea plants in place to dry out. You should have little dried up pea pods all over your plant. Carefully harvest the completely dried sweet pea pod. Store the seeds in a cool, dry place until next season.
Last sweet pea season, I had so much joy sharing the blooms with friends and family. During a time of isolation, it gave me a way to reconnect and give beauty and joy to someone. This next growing season will likely be no exception. I plan to gift many stunning blooms. I think these inexpensive vases will fit the bill: