Ask a Question forum: sweet peas

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Name: tk
murchison texas (Zone 8a)

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texaskitty111
Jan 27, 2015 2:00 PM CST
There's been a number of annuals that i cant grow since i moved to TX. One of them is sweetpeas. I love sweetpeas. Doesnt matter where, how, or when they are planted, they wont germinate. So, ive bought them again, soaked them, and sowed the seeds 1" deep this january before it gets hot. 5 different varieties are labeled so if one grows, i can get it again.
Spencer, old spice, royal, perennial, and melody. Would have bought more if the seed company had them.
Anyone else in TX, zone 8 have success with sweetpeas?
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Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
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dyzzypyxxy
Jan 28, 2015 10:53 AM CST
I tried with sweet peas one year here in FL. I'm zone 9a. They sure do have the most heavenly scent, don't they?

Started the seeds in December, so that they were getting to blooming size just when the weather started warming up in February. They bloomed nicely for about a month, then something developed a taste for them, and they gave up.

I think the 'secret' is starting the seeds when the weather's still cold, and don't water too heavily before they are up or the seed rots. Protect the little plants on cold nights so they don't freeze and don't expect them to keep blooming very long once it really gets warm. The Pacific Northwest is The Place for growing sweet peas. They just love the long spring and cool, moist weather up there. I'd go for a spot with afternoon shade to try to keep them going a bit longer.

I gave up after that one effort, as it seemed like too much trouble for too little reward. Yours may bloom longer than mine did, though as you are further north.

Elaine

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Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Jan 28, 2015 10:58 AM CST
I tried for a couple of years starting the seeds in late October - they did great until the night time temperatures were in the 70's then they curled up and died. I finally gave up. I think Zone 8 is just too warm for these guys.
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Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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abhege
Jan 28, 2015 9:13 PM CST
Well, I have grown them since I moved down to GA over four years ago. And I find volunteers every spring. Now, that said, the seed I have is a very old perennial unknown variety from my mother. I will be starting some seeds in a few weeks in paper pots. I like to plant in paper pots because they develop a long root quickly and it gets disturbed less that way.

If you want some seeds I have lots. SASE cause I am not good anymore about mailing things otherwise. Tree mail me if you want some. I'll see if I can find a photo.
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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abhege
Jan 28, 2015 9:27 PM CST
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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Jan 29, 2015 9:23 PM CST
I start them indoors, too. I have never had any luck trying to plant them directly in the ground. And the seedlings don't seem to mind being moved about. I don't think the seeds keep very long tho. Couple of years, maybe.
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Name: tk
murchison texas (Zone 8a)

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texaskitty111
Jan 29, 2015 9:31 PM CST
Thanks @abhege, if they dont come up, ill treemail you.
Thank You!
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Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
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Calif_Sue
Feb 1, 2015 1:42 PM CST

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Xeramtheum said:I tried for a couple of years starting the seeds in late October - they did great until the night time temperatures were in the 70's then they curled up and died. I finally gave up. I think Zone 8 is just too warm for these guys.


We have a sweet pea vendor here in town Enchanting Sweet Peas so they do very well in zone 9. We just don't have the warm nights and humidity so that may be the difference.
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Name: tk
murchison texas (Zone 8a)

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texaskitty111
Feb 1, 2015 1:48 PM CST
I used to buy those when i lived in Healdsburg, @Calif_Sue. It was tough there too, but i got some. Seb, is very different from Healdsburg.
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Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
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Calif_Sue
Feb 1, 2015 1:51 PM CST

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Healdsburg is slightly warmer day and night temps!
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Name: Cal McGaugh
Escondido, California (Zone 10b)
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EscondidoCal
Oct 8, 2017 12:45 PM CST
@Texaskitty111,

Whoa! I thought you could grow sweet peas almost anywhere
especially in Texas. (?!) Confused

We live 20mi inland, and north of San Diego......technically a desert,
but grow sweet peas easily......the seeds from the plants that bloomed this year
have already germinated and coming up in a "wild zone" that is not in the garden
with just minimal water.

The main thing is to start them early.....September here.....and I'm behind already,
having just planted seeds in peat pots yesterday. But usually, I don't remember to
plant till Nov, or even Jan. So am doing well this year. Smiling

I've always gotten seeds from Rene's Garden, and save seeds as well.
But this year I purchased 10 varieties from Enchanting Sweet Peas (like Calif_Sue) after seeing them in
our podiatrist's office.....she grows them and brings them in for the patients to enjoy.

They are the longest stemmed and most beautiful blooms of any I've ever seen or grown.
Mine have always had great fragrance, but not all are long stemmed for cut flowers.

I bought 10 packets of 10 seeds each. I use Jiffy Peat Pots in a hexagonal plastic tray ($5 each)
that will hold 7 pots, and use Miracle Grow Seed Starter mix. The trays come with pots, but
they fall apart when wet, so I discard them and just use the Jiffy Peat Pots which are
sturdier.

Note: I don't use the Jiffy seed starter even though it's cheaper than MG's, because it is very difficult to keep moist.....it's finer, and doesn't
drain as well, imho.

I bought 10 trays (over time), and re-use them. I drilled a 1/8" hole through the stack for each
place in the tray, as they don't come with one.

I fill each peat pot ~2/3 with the medium, and place 1-3 seeds in each, then add more mix
until it's heaping above the rim, then lightly tamp each with the bottom of a peat pot.
Then label and water well. I don't nick the seeds or soak them overnight. There's enough
water to completely moisten them. The seed is ~1" deep.

I put 3 seeds in each pot to start, "just in case", for all 10 varieties......1x3 in each pot.
They transplant well. Then I planted just one seed per pot for the rest. I usually don't
thin them.....I hate to pull out a seedling that's trying to live.....I plant them all, and
give them all a chance.

I'll also plant some directly in the ground, but haven't had time to clean out the garden yet
to make room, so am doing peat pots to get them going sooner than later.

They should germinate in a week or less, and usually take a while to get up to speed.
In fact, they look so spindly initially , you wonder if something's wrong.....then almost overnight,
they take off, get very "buff", and grow like Jack's bean stalk!

But I give them a little help up with some twine so they don't wander sideways, and
have to keep the snails off them regularly (I use Sluggo.....safe for pets).

Anyway, get your sweet peas going today even if you have to keep them
indoors during the winter......they are a "must have" for any garden, imho.

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Learn & create something every day.

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[Last edited by EscondidoCal - Oct 8, 2017 3:46 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1562849 (11)
Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
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lauriebasler
Oct 9, 2017 12:15 AM CST
My sweet peas gave a very short season to me here in the Pacific Northwest this year. We had one of the hottest and driest summers on record, and sweet peas were not impressed at all. I kept up on the watering and I deadheaded my brains out, but they just did not like the heat. Next year I will be choosing as cool a spot as possible.
Name: Cal McGaugh
Escondido, California (Zone 10b)
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EscondidoCal
Oct 9, 2017 11:40 AM CST
lauriebasler said:My sweet peas gave a very short season to me here in the Pacific Northwest this year. We had one of the hottest and driest summers on record, and sweet peas were not impressed at all. I kept up on the watering and I deadheaded my brains out, but they just did not like the heat. Next year I will be choosing as cool a spot as possible.

Hi Laurie,
when did you plant them?
Learn & create something every day.

"Take only pictures. Leave only footprints."
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Oct 9, 2017 12:42 PM CST
Howdy Y'all I tip my hat to you. From central California.
Zones 8 and 9. Divide Fresno.
Time is running out to plant sweet peas or snow peas. Time to plant is Sept to mid Oct.
The heat of late spring to early summer is what kills them.
They laugh at frost.
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Cal McGaugh
Escondido, California (Zone 10b)
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EscondidoCal
Oct 9, 2017 6:41 PM CST
Philipwonel said:Howdy Y'all I tip my hat to you. From central California.
Zones 8 and 9. Divide Fresno.
Time is running out to plant sweet peas or snow peas. Time to plant is Sept to mid Oct.
The heat of late spring to early summer is what kills them.
They laugh at frost.
😎😎😎
I agree

In the past, I've forgotten to plant them till as late as January, but still got blooms.....not as
good, but still worth trying.
Learn & create something every day.

"Take only pictures. Leave only footprints."
Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids Tropicals Region: Mexico
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lauriebasler
Oct 9, 2017 11:38 PM CST
HI EscondidoCal:
I started them indoors in January, under lights and it was way too early. So I got them in the soil May 1st, a month before the last frost. They were the strongest and biggest I have ever had, but they were running out of steam by July and really did not give a good show in August. But, honestly; they are worth it to me if they only last a month. This year I plan to put them in in nowish, and thank you for reminding me.
[Last edited by lauriebasler - Oct 9, 2017 11:40 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1563918 (16)
Name: Cal McGaugh
Escondido, California (Zone 10b)
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EscondidoCal
Oct 16, 2017 2:59 PM CST
I almost didn't post this.....I was happy to see that the sweet peas I planted on 10/7.....just 9 days ago.....
are coming up.

Then I thought of those who lost everything, including their lives, in the awful fires in Santa Rosa, and the grief hit me.

My eyes are full of tears.

New life....
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New hope...
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Learn & create something every day.

"Take only pictures. Leave only footprints."

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