Enjoy the heady fragrance of sweet peas by training these easy cottage garden annuals up trellis, or allowing them to spill out of hanging baskets on the patio. Here, we’ve brought together some of the best independent articles, videos and Instagram posts to help get your sweet peas off to a strong and healthy start.
Jen – @allotment_mama
“You don’t need an allotment to grow sweet peas, a garden border or a pot will work! You just need good drainage, sun, and to plant out at the right time,” says keen Instagram grower Jen. Take a look at the gorgeous homemade hazel structure she has built for her sweet peas to scramble up. Keep up with her flower-filled journey at @allotment_mama.
The Chatty Gardener – Thompson & Morgan
Don’t get confused by the perennial pea Lathyrus latifolius, warns The Chatty Gardener in her guest post for Thompson & Morgan. It returns year after year and has the same delicate flower as the annual sweet pea Lathyrus odoratus, but none of the incredible scent. Find lots more useful pointers in the blogger’s article: ‘Growing Sweet Peas’.
“This year, I want the best fragrant sweet peas in deep, contrasting shades, as they’ll be growing against a black wall and beside a seating area,” says Mandy over at MandyCanUDigIt. The first stunning variety on her list is super-scented ‘Matucana’. See what else makes the cut in her article ‘Best Fragrant Sweet Peas in Dramatic Shades’.
Richard – Sharpen Your Spades
Over at Sharpen Your Spades, keen allotmenteer Richard recommends sowing your sweet pea seeds early. “A January sowing enables the plants to develop strong roots, put on some early growth and provides larger plants to set out after the frosts,” he explains. It also scratches that gardening itch that strikes as soon as Christmas is over, he adds! Read his full article for top tips on sowing sweet peas in January.
Barry – Grow It!
If you want even earlier spring flowers, try sowing sweet pea seeds in October or November, says YouTuber Barry at his channel Grow It! Then simply overwinter them in a cold frame or greenhouse to prevent the seedlings from becoming leggy. See what other tricks Barry has up his sleeve in this excellent video guide to growing sweet peas for beginners. His homemade biodegradable pots are a great money-saver.
Francesca – @diaryofayorkshiregardener
To pinch out, or not to pinch out your sweet peas? “I’ll definitely be cruel to be kind and pinch above the first set of leaves,” says Instagrammer Francesca at @diaryofayorkshiregardener. Her quick and easy trial proved that pinching the top shoot off seedlings encouraged more side shoots to form. If you’re still on the fence, visit Francesca’s post and check out the photos for yourself.
The Chatty Gardener
Take time to prepare the ground and make sure your soil is really fertile before you plant your sweet peas out, says The Chatty Gardener. Dig the soil over and add plenty of homemade compost and soil improver. This will help your hungry sweet pea plants flower for longer during the summer, she says. Read her full article on growing sweet peas for more practical advice.
Steve – Green Side Up
If you grow sweet peas every year, like Steve, it might be time to put in a permanent support. This handy allotmenteer shares a video on how to build a timber and mesh frame for regular sweet pea displays. “I wanted something solid and secure where I can grow them and tie them in,” he explains. We think it looks fantastic! Get involved with Steve’s Cumbria allotment over at his YouTube channel Green Side Up.
Thompson & Morgan
“Sweet peas climb by twining their tendrils around the support frame,” says the horticultural team at Thompson & Morgan, but they may still need a little help. Check and tie in any stragglers every ten days or so during the summer to encourage straighter stems when flowering starts. Read this comprehensive guide to growing sweet peas for more growing tips.
Louisa – @downside_gardener
Grow sweet peas in the centre of a border to make a real statement, says ‘flower fanatic’ Louisa AKA @downside_gardener. “I cobbled together an obelisk out of canes, added around a dozen plants and hey presto,” she says of her excellent display. Perfect for admiring from the patio with a refreshing glass of wine!
Adam – Allotment Grow How
What is the single most important thing to do when your sweet peas start flowering? Keep picking them, says YouTuber and allotmenteer Adam over at Allotment Grow How. That’s because regular picking encourages more flowers to grow. You don’t want any seed heads to appear, he says. Watch Adam’s video to see how his sweet peas transform from ‘chitted’ seeds to gorgeous flowers over the course of several months.
We hope you’ve found these top bloggers as inspiring as we do.Head over to our sweet pea resource page for even more information and advice. Share your favourite sweet peas with us using the hashtag #YourTMGarden on Instagram or Twitter.
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