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Sweet peas
Season
Winter
Name
Lathyrus odoratus
Common Name
Sweet pea
Description

Sweet peas not only look pretty but they smell amazing too.

Growing conditions

Sweet peas like a sunny home in the garden in fertile, well-drained soil.

When to grow

Sow the seeds this month and you will have lovely flowers in the summer.

What you need
  • Packet of sweet pea seeds – there are lots of different colours to choose from
  • Seed compost
  • 9cm plant pots
  • Plant label
  • A clear polythene bag
  • An unheated greenhouse or cold frame

How to grow

  1. Fill the pot with seed compost almost to the top. Make a hole with your finger and place one seed in each pot.

  2. Cover the seeds with 1cm of compost.

  3. Water the seeds in (give them a drink of water) and cover them with the polythene bag.

  4. Keep the seeds at a temperature of about 15°C (59°F). After they have germinated, remove the covering.

  5. Transfer the seedlings to a cold frame. Over the winter, keep the frame open as much as possible but protect from heavier frosts.

  6. Plant the seedlings out in a sunny spot in the garden after the last spring frosts about 20-30 cm apart. Remember that slugs like to eat sweet peas!

  7. As they grow, support the plants using garden canes, pea sticks or a trellis.

  8. When the plants are about 10cm high, pinch out the tips, this helps to make a stronger bushier plant.

  9. Sweet peas will keep flowering if you pick the flowers regularly - a good excuse to have some beautiful flowers in your home.

Remember- sweet pea seed pods look similar to edible pea pods but they are poisonous and must not be eaten.