Sweet Peas: Lessons Learned - so far ...

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.
The remaining 216 of the 288 sweet pea starts go into the ground tomorrow. If these grow as quickly as my garden peas, there will soon be fragrant, nostalgic sweet peas for sale at WIN Mini Farm's farmstand.
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