Grow Scented Sweet Peas
The scent of sweet peas is like no other, and a vase of cut blooms filling a room with fragrance is reason enough to grow these cottage-garden favorites.
- Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything
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In warm areas, sow seeds in the autumn; in colder parts sow in spring in a warm greenhouse or on a windowsill. Plant outside in an open, sunny area.
When to Plant: autumn or early spring
At Their Best: summer
Time to Complete: 2-3 hours over several months
- sweet pea seeds
- sharp penknife or nail clippers
- deep seed trays or root trainers
- seed soil
- well-composted organic matter
- obelisk or bamboo canes
- garden twine
- all-purpose liquid fertilizer
Chip the Seed
Sweet pea seeds have a hard shell, and unless water can penetrate it, the seeds won't germinate. To ensure the seed absorbs water, use a sharp knife or nail clippers to carefully nick it opposite the "eye" (small, round scar) and remove a small piece of the seed coat.
In fall in warm climates, fill trays or pots with seed soil and sow the seeds 1/2 inch deep. Keep the seedlings in a cool greenhouse or cold frame until the following spring, only providing extra heat during severe frosts. In mid-spring, remove the tip of the main shoot from each seedling.
If you sow sweet peas in early spring, grow the seedlings indoors, or in a warm greenhouse, at 58–62 degrees F. When they reach 4-6 inches high, remove the tips down to the first set of leaves. Pinching out the tips like this encourages side shoots to form.
Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything
© 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited
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