Which Sweet Peas have you Grown?
Sweet peas are a very popular flower within our range. The range of colours, the gorgeous aroma and the prolific blooms look fabulous wherever you have them in your garden.
There are over 100 species of sweet pea - currently 13 varieties in the catalogue, providing a good range of colours to choose from both single, mixed and bi-colours.
There are two seasons that are best for sowing your sweet peas. Sowing your seeds in autumn will allow your plants to produce lots of green leafy growth, then in spring when the temperatures are warm enough the plants will burst into flower. You can also sow in spring to create a lovely flowering at the end of summer.
Sweet peas will thrive in well-fed soil, require a couple of top-up feeds during the growing season plus plenty of water. They are best directly sown into the garden but I have managed to transplant them as seedlings with a fair amount of success. As with most things that are better being directly sown, the trick is to minimise disturbing the seedling roots when transplanting.
Grow up a support such as a trellis or netting and once the sweet pea is flowering, tie just below the bloom for extra support. By placing ties at regular intervals, you will get a great cut flower with a straight stem. The vines grow 1m to 2.5m high and are great at vining their way up string or netting trellis on a fence or tee pee poles. The tendrils grab onto the trellis just as eating peas do, so using ties to keep them where you want them is sometimes required.
Watering is best done from the bottom and in the mornings as there is a tendency for fungal problems on the leaves.
Sweet peas originate from the Mediterranean region and were introduced into England in the 17th century hence why they are synonymous with cottage gardens.
Did you know that the scent of sweet peas is disliked by flies? True fact and no doubt you wish you had sown a big patch of them outside your kitchen window if you have been inundated (as many of us have here in the Bay) with flies this summer. Next, best thing is to have lots of bunches in vases around the house.
Did you know that sweet peas provide nitrogen back into your soil? What a great reason for planting them.
There were three new varieties added to our range this season and they are all the Old Spice style of sweet pea:
This bi-colour sweet pea is maroon & violet/blue with intense fragrance and a tolerance for heat. It is a sweet pea that dates back to the 1600's when Father Francis Cupani of Sicily found it growing near his monastery.
This blue sweet pea is also very fragrant. Prolific flower production is also a trait of this variety. It also has been awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit (awarded by the Royal Horticulture Society in the UK).
It's nice to have a red sweet pea in the range and this variety grows strong and bushy with plenty of flowers. Henry Eckford of sweet pea fame bred this particular variety back in the early 1900's.
Enjoy your Sweet Pea growing.