The Q&A Archives: Growing Sweet Peas

Question: I've tried growing Sweet Peas for 3 years now, and they
just won't grow in my yard. I may not be getting enough
sun as I live 2 miles from the Great Smoky Mountains
National Park boundary. I'm completely surrounded by
mountains and my yard gets very little sun where the
house is sited. I've tried growing them against my
screened porch (they smell so wonderful) but they didn't
get any taller than about 6 inches and were spindly.
I tried them on the other side of the porch where they
would get more sun, and these didn't grow either.
Perhaps I need to add something to the soil. It's
very rocky here and hard to dig flower beds, but I'm
willing to do that. I just don't know where to plant or what kind of soil to plant in.

Answer: Sweet peas need a very rich soil well prepared with plenty of organic matter such as compost or well rotted stable manure and bedding dug into it. The pH should be above 6.0. They require a moist yet well drained soil (meaning not soggy). Annual sweet peas need sunshine to grow their best and yet must have a cool location out of hot sun. Sometimes a location in full morning sun is better. Plant them in very early spring so that they can grow and bloom before the weather turns hot. I hope this helps.

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