Every year I'm beconing a better gardener, but I've made plenty of mistakes. I learned a few lessons this spring about growing sweet peas:
- Never sprout sweet pea seeds in a wet paper towel inside of a ziplock bag placed on top of a fluffy, bath towel on top of a heat propagation mat. The thermostat was faulty and my precious seeds roasted! Fortunately, I started early so there was plenty of time to reorder more seeds from Rodger Parsons Sweet Peas in the UK.
- Don't start sweet pea seeds indoors - period! The seeds sprout beautifully outdoors by just dropping them into the soil. I'm spending way too much time and energy transplanting all those starts.
- For an earlier harvest and sturdier plants, plant seeds outside in the fall.
- Never use natural, sisal twine when building a trellis for sweet peas or any other trellis for that matter. It stretches and sags when it gets wet - use nylon.
- Tying those many, many strings onto the trellis for the peas to latch onto requires way too much time and effort. The result has a rustic charm, but never again. I'll leave that design to Martha Stewart.
- Bamboo tepees are charming, but don't allow for the easiest harvest.
- My next trellis will be made of 3/4 -inch electrical conduit and plastic netting. Not as natural nor as charming nor as compostable as the current trellis, but so very much easier to build.