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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Sweet Pea Supports
Sweet peas climb using their twining tendrils, which cling to slim supports, such as sticks or bamboo canes. These bushy plants reach up to 6 feet tall, so make sure your support is tall enough to accommodate them.
Wooden or metal obelisks and tripods are ideal for sweet peas, and make decorative additions to flower borders or to vegetable beds. (Don't confuse the pods with green beans when harvesting: sweet peas are poisonous.) You may find that young plants struggle to take hold of smooth materials, such as metal, or don't cover the whole support evenly. To remedy this problem, wind some string around the poles and tie it horizontally across the legs of the support to provide the plants with more grip.
Make Your Own
It's easy to make your own sweet pea supports by setting out bamboo canes to form a wigwam and tying them securely at the top. You can also grow them up pea sticks or create a support with plastic mesh wrapped around a circle of sturdy stakes driven into the ground, securing the trellis with garden twine or wire. As the plants grow, these supports quickly disappear beneath the flowers and foliage.
Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything
© 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited
Actually a vetch, this cool-weather crop matures in early summer, when other beans are just getting started.