Nobody knows their way around the garden quite like Monty Don. So, when it comes to picking our sweet peas, we could do far worse than follow his expert garden ideas. While it’s never a bad time to bring the beautiful petals into our homes, Monty’s sweet pea tips are timely – so it's time to hop off of the garden furniture, and get started!
July is the month of colorful flowers, and none are more so than the beautiful sweet pea – but why do we need to prioritize their care within this month? In his July 2021 blog (opens in new tab), Monty shares his garden plant ideas – and how to prolong our sweet peas lifespan.
Monty Don’s sweet pea picking tips
If, come July, you haven’t already picked your sweet peas, then Monty suggests acting quickly, as they ‘are at their glorious best and for the first half of the month.’ Thankfully, though, this is one garden task that doesn’t feel like a chore. ‘Few garden chores can be as pleasant or undemanding as this, but be sure to regularly pick all the flowers from your sweet pea plants; it's the best way to extend their flowering season,’ Monty adds.
As July is among the hottest months of the calendar, the flowers develop seed pods at a quicker pace meaning they take energy from the plant and promote ‘more seed production at the expense of flowers.’ So, to extend the lifespan of your sweet peas against the summer heat, Monty recommends you start picking ASAP.
‘I have found that the optimum picking period for sweet peas is about ten days. It is important to remove every single flower – and to enjoy the resulting fragrant bunches of blooms for the house,’ he explains.
But what do you need for the job? Monty shared that picking sweet peas was undemanding, and he was right. The only tool needed is a simple pair of scissors.
Monty recommends cutting the stems ‘as long as possible’ while removing any heads as soon as you spot them. ‘This way, in a cool summer, the plants can go on flowering right into September,’ he says.
Plus, sweet peas fragrant petals are a favorite amongst bees, so if you’re wondering how to create your own wildlife garden, Monty Don’s sweet pea tips are a great place to begin. Now, we’re off to pick our flowers – before their best days slip away.