Only water again sparingly until seedlings emerge in around 2 weeks time. Too moist soil can lead to the seeds rotting. As the tender new seedlings emerge, they’ll be vulnerable to snails and slugs. A light sprinkling of Blitzem Snail & Slug Pellets around the sweet pea patch will help protect the seedlings from snails and slugs.
Once the seedlings are around 5 cm tall, start feeding each week with Yates Thrive Rose & Flowers Liquid Plant Food. This fast acting complete fertiliser provides nitrogen for healthy leaf growth, phosphorus for strong root development and potassium for lots of lovely sweet pea flowers.
Tall varieties will need to be grown on a frame, trellis or tepee. Young seedlings may need to be supported with small twigs or bamboo skewers until they can reach their trellis.
Sweet peas take around 12-14 weeks to flower. Don’t forget to cut handfuls of deliciously scented flowers for a vase.
As the plants grow, watch for signs of powdery mildew, which appears like a dusting of talcum powder over the leaves. If not controlled, this disease will progress to causing the leaves to yellow, plant health will suffer, and the flower show cut short. Powdery mildew can be controlled with regular sprays of Yates Rose Gun. It comes in an easy to use trigger applicator and contains a systemic fungicide which moves around the plant’s system to control common diseases like powdery mildew.
How to grow sweet peas in a pot
Choose a pot that has adequate drainage holes and place it in a position that gets full sun and is sheltered from wind.
Here are a few of the most popular larger sweet pea varieties:
Smaller varieties that are perfect for pots:
If sowing first in seed raising mix take extra care when transplanting as Sweet peas resent root disturbance.
If heavy rainfalls are expected close to planting time, start the seeds off in toilet paper rolls filled with damp seed raising mix. Don’t be tempted to water the seeds for at least a couple of days after sowing and only apply small amounts of water to the seeds to keep the soil lightly moist. Once germinated, plant the toilet paper rolls containing the young plants directly where they are to grow and water in well.
Apply some mulch around the base of the plants to help retain soil moisture.
Sweet Peas are traditionally sown on St Patricks Day (17 March) however can be sown later in autumn in many areas around Australia.
For maximum sunlight exposure have the trellis running in a north-south direction.
You can create little Sweet Pea tepees in the backyard which is a delight for kids.
Pick blooms regularly to promote further flowering.
Once flowering has finished and the plant begins to wither, dig them directly into the soil as a green manure which adds nitrogen to the soil.
Do not consume the fruits or seeds of the Sweet Peas as they are poisonous if eaten.