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Sweet Pea Question

Posted by keriann_lakegeneva 5B WI/IL border (My Page) on
Sun, Mar 13, 11 at 17:18

How frost tolerant are they?

My plan was to direct sow them in the Middle of april and our last frost free date is May 10th-ish. Can they take that cold of soil? Or, can I sow them now and cover them during heavy frosts? I have never grown them before but am excited to try them! I hope they dont get too crazy!

Let me know

Thanks

Keri~


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Sweet Pea Question

I planted some in my cold frame a couple of weeks ago (in soil bags) and they are starting to come up. Although, living in SC, I could have planted them directly in the ground. It's okay for you to plant them now. They'll come up when the time is right. They can even tolerate a bit of snow.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cold Frame Gardening


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RE: Sweet Pea Question

I plant sugar snap peas, I don't know if those are the same as your sweet peas or not. Last year I still had a couple plants left in Nov, I'm in NH so that's well after the first frost. At the end of Dec the plants were still alive even through about 6" of snow. There were even a few flowers still on there. They didn't grow any more after that but I loved seeing them sticking out of the snow!


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RE: Sweet Pea Question

Thank you! That answers the question!

Keriann~


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RE: Sweet Pea Question

Keriann, you seem to have so much experience with gardening, it's surprising you haven't grown sweet peas yet. You have smelled them though, right? If not, you're in for a real treat. When I was a child, my aunt planted hundreds of them on the farm, and we used to run and hide between the rows =:)

May I suggest that you plant new ones every two weeks or so?


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RE: Sweet Pea Question

Thank you nutsaboutflowers

I have never even seen the vine before. I know.. crazy! I cant wait to smell them, I hear they are heavenly!
I will take your advice on staggering the sowing. Are the vines attractive? or should I sow them in my cutting garden? When do they start to die back?

Keriann~


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RE: Sweet Pea Question

Hi again. I'm not sure how to answer your question "Are the vines attractive?" Like everything else, it's a matter of opinion. They are somewhat similar to edible peas, in that the vines can get really messy and tangled if you let them. However, if they have something to attach to, like a trellis, chain link fence, etc., I think they're wonderful. I haven't grown them for a while and I'm not sure why. If you like to experiment, plant them in various places, but yes, especially in your cutting garden. They make a wonderful bouquet, particularly if you have lots of different colors. Oh, and I would personally get heirloom seeds, as I'm guessing the older ones have more fragrance, but I could be wrong. I'm sorry, I can't remember when they start to die back.

Now I need to check my seed catalogue. Sweet peas need to be put on my list =:)

Good luck and I hope you love them !


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RE: Sweet Pea Question

Hi kerriann - the vines are a bit straggly, not particularly attractive. I grow them for cutting, not for beauty as garden plants. One thing which is really important is to keep cutting the flowers and never to let them start setting seed. Once you do that they will stop producing blossoms. Make sure you get seed which is for a fragrant variety. Some modern ones have less scent. If you want really long stems grow them as single cordons. If you are not worried let them branch out. I sow mine inside in January in toilet roll centres because they need long root runs and I will plant them out pretty soon. They can take a little frost.

The US nomenclature is a bit confusing. 'Sweet peas' over here only applies to the ornamental Lathyrus, not to Pisum, which are simply 'peas'. Sweet peas are poisonous so the distinction is important.

Here is a link that might be useful: sweet peas


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RE: Sweet Pea Question

Thank you so much for the advice and tips. I think I will plant them in the cutting garden this year to see how they do.

Keriann~


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