How to Capture the Magic of Sweet Peas
There's something so special about those warm April mornings when the scent of sweet peas seems to dance in the air. Now that these bright, fragrant annual plants are ready to go in the ground, we simply can't stop thinking about them! This week, we're reminiscing about what sweet peas mean to us, and how you can experience their magic in your garden.
Sweet Peas: Why We Love Them
We've always felt that the aroma of sweet peas is deeply nostalgic, so we asked you to share your thoughts on these classic flowers. We loved reading your treasured memories and the meanings sweet peas hold for you. Here are just a few that touched our hearts!
"I'm 73 years old and I still think of my sweet mother growing her sweet peas attaching strings to the fence and watching them grow; they smelled so good! Believe it or not I have never attempted growing them! Maybe I should do it this summer!"
"They remind me of my daughter because she's born in April! She's my little sweet pea."
"I used to grow them for my gramma, we shared many bouquets."
"My daughter's childhood dog, Sweetpea, a mini black and tan short hair Dachshund. She was born in April and was the sweetest little pup you could ever imagine."
"First plant I ever grew, my dad helped me , I was around 4 years old, been gardening ever since."
"My grandmother because she had them growing across her front yard."
"Sweet peas remind me of friends! We always have enough to share so I love giving my friends bouquets."
"When I was a new teacher, a student brought me a bouquet of sweet peas and I have been in love ever since."
"My grandmother was an avid gardener and while she was alive she helped me grow sweet peas in my garden because she did not have the space. Every year I'd cut bunches for her home for her to enjoy the sweet smell. After she passed at age 93, I have been unable to grow sweet peas. I will try again this year."
"Sweet peas remind me of my mom and grandma! They are one of my favorite! I grow them every year. I always plant them under our bedroom window so when they bloom we can smell them."
"They remind me of my late brother, who planted so many beautiful ones."
How to Grow Perfect Sweet Peas
New to growing these old-fashioned favorites? Follow these simple steps from sweet pea expert Steve Hampson to get growing!
If growing from seed, sow sweet peas in a flower pack from late October through December. Or, visit our plant nursery to browse our many varieties of starter plants!
Starting in January or February, or once the plants have started developing vines three to five inches long, transplant your sweet peas into your annual flower beds! Plant starters, spaced 10 inches apart, in a sunny location that enjoys about 10 hours of sunshine per day. Make sure the soil has excellent drainage and enrich the soil with compost or an amendment like Harvest Supreme.
At the time of planting, mix an all-purpose fertilizer into the soil like Down to Earth All-Purpose (4-6-2). Fertilize every two weeks with an organic fertilizer like Sea Grow.
Keep sweet peas well-watered, especially when the temperatures heat up!
Sweet peas thrive with a structure to climb, like a beautiful obelisk or tall trellis!
Slugs love sweet peas—who could blame them? Keep them at bay with a repellant like Sluggo or Sluggo Plus and treat for aphids with insecticidal soap.
As your sweet peas bloom, you'll enjoy months of fabulous color and fragrance from your flowers. Enjoy them outdoors or cut them into bouquets to display or share.
Want more tips for growing world-class sweet peas? Let Steve Hampson share more of his secrets in this video tutorial!
Share Your Sweet Peas on Social Media!
We can't wait to see the gorgeous colors of your homegrown sweet peas! Make sure to share your sweet pea plants and bouquets with us by tagging @rogersgardens on Instagram or using #rogersgardens in your photos!