Now’s the time to plant sweet peas in your garden to make sure you get a burst of colour and fragrance in spring. Here are our top tips…
1. Sweet peas need to be grown in a section of the garden that gets sun most of the day and where you can place a trellis or have something that they can grow up (chicken wire works well).
2. In the southern hemisphere, the best time to sow sweet peas is Autumn — but any time between March and May will work.
3. It’s best to prepare your bed a while for before sowing. The experts recommend trenching — dig a trench about 40 to 50cm deep and remove the topsoil (keep this to one side). Mix some compost and 3:1:5 fertiliser with the topsoil and return it to the trench.
Read more: How to regrow your fruit and veggies
4. Soak your sweet pea seeds in water overnight to soften their outer coats. The next morning, sow the seeds directly into the soil, 2cm deep and about 15cm apart (you may want to cover the area with thin shade cloth to prevent the birds from eating your precious seeds!).
5. Keep the soil well watered until sprouts appear. Once they appear, fertilise the seedlings with liquid fertiliser every two weeks.
6. Pinch off the growing tips when they’re about 15cm high to encourage more growth.
7. In about July, the plants should be tall enough to start tying to the trellis, unless you’ve planted a bush variety.
Top tip: Cut flowers often and remove the faded flowers to keep your plants flowering. The more you pick, the more they flower.