Sweet Peas Are Better Than Ever

You can look far and wide and it will be hard to find flowers more enchanting than Sweet Peas. The beautiful pastel colors are reason enough to plant them in your garden. But the fragrance – the wonderful, sweet fragrance – is like a gift from the gods both outdoors and inside in bouquets. Oh yes, for cut flower lovers, there is nothing that says spring like a fresh, intoxicating bouquet of Sweet Peas.

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Sweet peas come in more varieties than ever before. Old-fashion heirloom varieties, such as the ‘Old Spice Mix’, produce less showy flower clusters but have the most intense, captivating fragrance. Early-flowering types, such as ‘Early Multiflora,’ and ‘Chiffon Elegance’ bloom for the longest season, especially in mild winter climates. Summer-flowering types, like ‘Galaxy,’ are heat-resistant and bloom longer into warm weather. Compact types like ‘Knee-Hi’ and ‘Bijou’ can be grown without the support of a trellis and are ideal for planting in containers. And you can get packs of seeds that produce flowers all of the same color, shades of one color or wonderful mixes of a kaliedoscope of hues.

In mild winter areas where the ground doesn't freeze, Sweet Peas are best planted in the fall, but they can also be planted in late winter to early spring. In colder areas, hold off until the ground can be worked in early spring to plant.  Sweet peas can tolerate frost. They are easy to grow from seed, planted about 1 inch deep and 3 to 4 inches apart. To hasten germination, soak the seeds overnight in water before planting. Many nurseries and garden centers also often sell Sweet Peas as transplants.  Full sun is best. Most varieties will need something to climb on, such as string trellis or wire fence. Protect young seedlings from Slugs and Snails with Natria Snail & Slug Killer Bait.

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