Learn how to grow sweet peas and enjoy a riot of colour in your garden all summer long. Sweet peas come in a dizzying variety of colours and make for lovely cut flowers. Their delicious, heady smell will fill a room, but they're also delightful to watch grow in your garden.
Moreover, sweet peas are very well suited to British summer, thriving in all but the wettest summers. Give them plenty of sunlight and water, pick flowers regularly, and they'll continue flowering throughout the summer. Sweet peas can be planted in borders, but they do especially well in containers.
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How to grow sweet peas
1. Choose an appropriate container: sweet peas have long roots, so like a deep pot to grow in. They can also be successfully grown in Pringles tubes for that reason.
2. Plant seeds in a seedling tray, one seed per compartment. Water well and keep on a warm, light window sill.
3. When seedlings are a couple of inches tall, transplant them into the container. Position outside from mid-May, in a sunny spot (half a day of sun is plenty).
4. Sweet pea plants need supports to climb – use bamboo sticks or trellises.
5. As they grow, trim tendrils regularly, or they'll choke the flowers. Water well during dry weather spells.
6. Once your sweet peas begin to flower, pick the regularly to encourage more flowers, and keep pinching and trimming those tendrils.
Tip: If planting after mid-May, you can plant the seeds where they are to flower.