HOW TO PLANT SWEET PEAS
- Early sowing is one of the secrets of sweet peas. In Zone 7 or colder, plant them in very late winter or early spring as soon as the soil is dry enough to work.
- In the coldest parts of the country, get a jump on the season by starting sweet peas indoors in six-packs or Jiffy pots. Harden seedlings off for at least a week, and then set them out into the garden as soon as the soil can be worked. If you garden in mild winter climates (Zones 8, 9, or 10), plant sweet peas in the late fall so they can develop and bloom in late winter and early spring.
- Sweet peas are happiest with their heads in the sun and their roots deep in cool, moist soil. When possible, plant low-growing annuals in front of them to shade their roots.
- Choose a well-drained site. Alkaline soil is best; sprinkle some powdered lime on the surface if your soil tends to be acidic.
- Prepare a rich soil by mixing in generous amounts of compost and well-rotted manure to a depth of 2 feet.
- Prior to planting, you’re going to want to dig a nice deep trench of about 4 inches in depth.
- After you dig the trench, make holes with a pencil, drop in the seeds, and press down on the soil to firm it and shut out any light.
- Before planting, soak the seeds in water for 24 hours. Then nick the seeds with a nail file before planting to speed sprouting. You do not need to soak seeds in a temperate climate.