Sweet Peas - Knowledgebase Question

Lansing, NY
Question by nkb55
November 18, 1997
I tried growing sweet peas from seeds. They were in good soil, with hot afternoon sun, but only half the plants came up and those that did were about 3 feet tall with only a couple of flowers. Is there a secret to growing sweet peas?




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Answer from NGA
November 18, 1997

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First thing to do is get the soil tested at your local Extension Service(607-272-2292).The pH should be 6.0-7.0. They don't require lots of additional fertilizer. Usually a 3-4 inch layer of compost worked into the soil in spring is enough.

Peas do poorly in hot weather. They should be planted early(4-6 wks. before last spring frost)-or late(10-12 wks. before first fall frost)...so they can enjoy cool temperatures.

All cultivars enjoy some type of support. Stick "brushy" branches into bush type pea rows to serve as support. Bush types should be planted about 1 inch deep and apart in double rows spaced about 6 inches apart. That's close, but they help support one another, in fact, don't bother to thin them! Tall varieties planted about an inch apart in single rows should have a trellis to climb.
Another thing to remember is that peas need to have adequate moisture when they are blooming. Mulch the ground with a 3-4 inch layer of mulch and keep them well watered.

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