Growing Great Sweet Peas
Sweet Peas are the simplest and sweetest of flowers, yet oh so romantic and elegant. These wonderfully fragrant flowers come in many different colours and shades, some bright, others muted, they may be ruffled or have stripes, be solid or bi-coloured.
There is nothing that says cottage garden better than Sweet Peas.
Are your sweet peas still going strong? Putting on lots of long stemmed blooms? Or are they beginning to peter out in the heat of summer? Getting less blooms and more greens?
Here are a few tricks to keep yours ticking along...
1. The more you pick, they more they make. For an abundance of blooms throughout both spring and summer, harvest the flowers several times each week, picking as many as you want (take them all!), as often as you want. The more the merrier absolutely applies to sweet peas.
2. Water often and water deeply. Use drip tubing or weeping hoses to make life easier, or it may well turn into a full time job keeping your Sweet Peas well watered and blooming throughout the summer.
3. Ideally when you sowed those seeds, you amended that area with lots of rich compost or manure to feed the blooms all season long. If not, if they need a bit of a pick-me-up, feed with manure tea, liquid seaweed, or a high phosphorous fertiliser (the middle number on the container) now and again.
As you harvest the flowers, be sure to deadhead at the same time. Remove all spent blossoms, those cute, fuzzy, little pea pods on wiry stems. If you leave the blossoms to go to seed, your vines will soon start to yellow, go dormant, and finish up for the year.
Be sure to tie in your sweet pea vines as they grow, if you want to use them as cut flowers. Flowers that are left to grow wildly, will grow outwards and then turn up towards the sun, making an elbow in the stem. Is very difficult to make a nice looking posy out of crooked stems.
I just use some nice twine to tie in my sweet peas every foot or two. As they grow, they will 'floof' out a bit to hide the string a bit, but even if it shows, it is very natural looking and does not detract from the look.
Grow sweet peas with Ammi and lilies and you'll have the perfect makings for a lovely bouquet.
Sweet peas make the most wonderful cut flowers... Bundle them into wee, lovely, fragrant posies to place in the entryway, guest room, bathroom, on the coffee table, perfect for any room of the house. Share generously with neighbours and friends, too.
Sweet peas are not the longest lasting blooms, lasting maybe 4 or 5 days. To extend the life as long as possible, keep out of direct light and add flower food into the water. Have no packets of flower food hanging about? Make your own 'food' by adding 3 tablespoons white sugar + 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar to 1 litre of water.
The fragrance of sweet peas is absolutely amazing.