The Q&A Archives: Sweet Peas Wont Grow

Question: Every year I plant sweet peas. I follow the instructions on the package,only to get the same result-they just start to poke through the soil,then they die. Last year I planted some in a container and it realy looked as though they were going to make it but they shriveled before any flowers made it. I used potting soil, and fed them biweekly. Can you give me any help?

Answer: Sweet peas are similar to garden peas in that they need to be planted very early in the spring, just as soon as the soil can be worked, or at least a month before the last anticiapted frost date. They are very cold tolerant and conversely hate heat. Once the temperatures and soil warm up, they stop growing. You may find that soaking them in water for a few hours immediately before planting, planting them in a trench that you fill in as they begin to grow, and using an innoculant will help to get them going sooner and grow more vigorously. You also need to use a soil that is light and fluffy, meaning well aerated, because they will stop growing if their roots are stressed for air.

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