Sweet peas are a beautiful flowering plant that is easy to grow and can be enjoyed for many years.
They have long been used as an ornamental garden flower, but their edible flowers have recently become popular with chefs in the UK.
The sweet pea has a short season of about three weeks from early spring through summer until late autumn. There are two main varieties of sweet pea: single-flowered and double-flowered.
Single-flowered types include ‘Lincoln’, ‘Crown Imperial’ and ‘Alderman’. Double-flowered types include ‘Superior’, ‘Sugar Loaf’ and ‘Rose de Saran’.
All these varieties produce large quantities of delicious edible flowers.
The best time to sow sweet peas is between April and May. Sow seeds directly into the ground or use seed trays, which will help you avoid transplanting your plants later on.
If you want to start growing them indoors, it’s best to do so when temperatures are still cool (around 10 °C). You should also ensure that there is plenty of light available during this period.
Once they’ve germinated, you’ll need to keep the soil moist at all times. When the weather starts getting warmer, move your plants outside.
Sweet peas don’t like frost, so make sure you protect them if you live somewhere where frosts occur.
You can harvest your sweet peas once they’re fully grown. The first flowers appear around one month after sowing, and the pods begin forming about four months after planting.
Pods should be harvested when they are full of bright yellow flowers. Here is a step-by-step guide for how to grow your sweet peas:
1. Prepare Your Seed Trays
Before you get started, it’s important to prepare your seed trays. This allows you to easily remove any weeds that may sprout up while you wait for your seeds to germinate.
Start by filling each tray with potting compost. Next, add some grit to the bottom of the tray, then place a layer of gravel over the top.
Finally, fill the rest of the space with more potting compost. Make sure the surface area of the compost is level. It’s also worth noting that the larger the tray, the less likely it is to dry out.
2. Plant Seeds Directly Into the Ground
Now that your seed trays are ready, it’s time to plant your seeds. For sweet peas, you only need to plant one seed per square inch of soil.
Take a small spoon and dig a hole in the center of the prepared bed. Then, carefully drop the seed into the hole.
Cover the seed with a thin layer of compost, then press down firmly to secure it in place. Repeat this process for every seed you plan to plant.
3. Water Your Plants Regularly
Once your seeds have germinated, you should water them regularly. In general, you should aim to water your plants twice a day.
However, depending on the amount of sunlight they receive, you might need to water them even more frequently.
As soon as you see new growth emerging from the seedlings, you should stop watering them.
4. Protect From Frost
If you live somewhere where cold snaps occur, you’ll need to take extra care when protecting your plants from frost.
Ideally, you should cover your plants with something warm and waterproof. Alternatively, you could try using fleece blankets or old sheets.
5. Harvest Your Flowers
When your sweet peas reach their final height, you should cut off the flower stalks.
Doing this will encourage the flowers to develop into pods.
After cutting the stems, gently shake the leaves to dislodge any remaining seeds. Then, collect these seeds in an airtight container.
Sweet peas are easy to grow, but they require lots of attention.
By following our simple instructions above, you shouldn’t have any problems growing your own.
Now that you know how to grow your own sweet peas, you can enjoy eating them throughout the summer.
How Can I Grow Sweet Peas Indoors?
You can start growing sweet peas indoors several weeks before you want to eat them. If you do decide to grow them inside, make sure you give them plenty of light.
Otherwise, they won’t grow properly. Also, keep an eye on them so that you don’t accidentally pick them too early.
How Do I Keep My Sweet Peas Growing All Summer Long?
To ensure that your sweet peas continue producing all summer long, you’ll need to protect them from frosts. You can use fleece blankets or other materials to help insulate your plants.
How Do I Prepare My Seed Trays?
To successfully grow sweet peas, you first need to prepare your seed tray. First, fill each tray with a potting mix.
Next, add some gravel to the bottom of the trays, followed by a layer of pebbles. Lastly, fill the rest of your tray with more potting mix. Make sure the surface is flat and level.
How Many Pods Should I Expect When I Grow Sweet Peas?
The number of pods you should expect depends on the variety you choose. Some varieties produce two or three large pods, while others produce many smaller ones.
Generally speaking, if you’re growing dwarf varieties, you should expect about 2-3 large pods. On the other hand, bush varieties may yield up to 10 or more medium-sized pods.
How Much Time Does It Take To Germinate Seeds?
It takes between 5 and 7 days for most seeds to germinate. This means that you should wait until after that period has passed before planting your seeds.
What Is The Best Way To Plant Sweet Pea Seeds?
Seeds should be planted in soil that’s been pre-prepared. If you’ve never done this before, it’s best to follow the instructions included with your seeds.
If you have experience in gardening, then you probably already know what to do.
What Kind Of Light Will Help Me Grow Sweet Peas? How Often Should I Water Them?
If you live in a place where temperatures drop below freezing during winter, you’ll need to pay special attention to your sweet peas.
In order to prevent damage to your plants, you’ll need to provide adequate protection. You can use fleece blankets or similar materials to help insulate them. You should also water your plants regularly.
How Long Before They Start Producing Flowers And Pods?
When you plant your sweet peas, you should leave at least 12 inches between the rows. Space the plants evenly across the row.
If you find yourself having trouble spacing out your plants, you might consider using a ruler to mark your rows. Once you’ve finished planting, water your plants thoroughly.
How Long Until Harvesting?
Sweet peas usually take around 3 months to mature. During this time, you’ll need to watch over your plants carefully. As soon as the flowers turn brown, you should harvest your pods.
Can I Eat Fresh Sweet Peas Or Can I Freeze Them?
You can eat fresh sweet peas right away. However, if you’d like to preserve them, you can freeze them instead.
Simply wash your sweet peas well, remove their stems, and pack them into freezer bags. Place the bags in the freezer. After they’ve frozen solid, you can transfer them to storage containers.
How Long Does A Single Pod Last?
A single pod will last anywhere from 1 week to 2 weeks. If you want to extend its shelf life even further, you can store your pods in an airtight container.
To conclude, you can grow sweet peas easily by following the steps that I have outlined above.
Growing sweet peas is notably beneficial as they are a great source of minerals and nutrients whilst being a delicious addition to a wide variety of dishes.
They can also be cultivated indoors and outdoors, so start planting your sweet peas today and reap the rewards of this wholesome vegetable.