Fill your garden with sweet peas for a summer full of scent and colour! You’ll find potfuls of seedlings on sale at the garden centre here in Poynings right now, ready to go straight into the garden at the foot of a sturdy wigwam or obelisk. Put them near a door, seat or path so you can really appreciate their simple yet delightful flowers and lovely scent.
Sweet peas thrive in the open ground or in containers of rich potting compost mixed with a soil-based compost to provide extra water retention and nutrients. In the ground, fork in some general-purpose fertiliser first as sweet peas do best in really nutritious, rich soil.
Get your supports into position first: sink wigwams and obelisks firmly into the ground so they won’t blow over. Plant your sweet peas at the same depth as they were in the pot, close to the supports so they’ll cling onto them as they grow. Water well.
Sweet pea gardening
Pinch out the tips to encourage branching – this can be done several times through the spring to make sure you get lots of flowers. Exhibitors grow sweet peas on a single, trained stem, pinching out sideshoots and tendrils. You can do this too, but you’ll get fewer, if larger, blooms.