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Growing Sweet Peas from seed

Updated: Mar 25, 2023

Perfect for picking, fragrant sweet peas are easy to grow and come in a range of beautiful colors. You can grow them in pots or in the ground, training them up a frame for a beautiful display.

The plants can grow to a height of 3 ft to 6 ft when supported on a trellis or other structure.

Sweet Peas enjoy full sun and like cool roots and cool temperatures so they are planted as early as possible in the spring.

Mulching Sweet Peas will keep the roots cool and retain moisture while growing.

Sweet pea seeds have a hard outer shell

This outer shell protects the seed inside but can slow the germination of the seed.

To help speed up the germination you will put you seeds into a cup of water to allow the moisture to penetrate the shell and begin the germination process.

In about a week or so the moisture will begin the germination process and a root will push its way out thru the hard protective shell of the seed

It is at this point that you want to transfer the sprouted seed into the container to grow the young seedling.

It is important that this container is deep to allow the roots to grow. Sweet Peas do not tolerate transplanting well.

You can use containers that are specially designed to grow sweet pea seedlings but you can use 16 oz solo cups that have enough depth to allow the roots to grow properly and not be disturbed during transplanting. Make sure you place 3 or 4 holes in the bottom of the solo cup to allow proper drainage.

Fill the container with potting soil

Place one or two of the germinated seeds in each pot.

Lightly water directly on top of the seeds to help settle them into the potting mix and provide good contact of the emerging roots with the potting mix.

In a week you should begin to seed the beginning of the plant growing from the soil surface

It is at this point that you will thoroughly water the pot to ensure there is enough moisture for the developing plant. Keep the plant evenly moist but do not let the potting mix to be water logged.

When plants are 4 or 5 inches tall with a couple of leaves formed, pinch out the tips of the plants to encourage the generation of side branches and bushy growth.

About 4 weeks before the last frost date the plants can be transplanted out side after a week of hardening off to avoid a sudden shock.

The plants are very tolerant of frost and prefer cooler temperatures when growing.

Start feeding sweet peas with a high potash fertilizer (such as tomato food) when flower buds appear.

Provide some type of support for the vine to climb up.

Regular picking of the flowers encourages more flowers to form, so keep picking those blooms for the vase

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