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Plant description:

Sweet peas are one of the joys of the winter garden, particularly in cooler or more temperate areas. Seed companies offer both climbing and bush (dwarf) varieties, as well as packets of single-colour flowers in a range of hues: dark purple, maroon, pink, rose, salmon, blue and white. Sweet peas make lovely scented cut flowers. These climbers and semi-climbers need something to grow on or against, so put a trellis in place or install criss-cross wires against a wall, to give them something to wind around.

Family: – Fabaceae

Botanical Pronunciation: LAY-thy-russ oh-dor-AY-tus

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Botanical name

Lathyrus odoratus

Plant Care

Size

Categories

Flowers

Description:Seed companies offer packets of single-colour flowers in a range of hues: dark purple, maroon, pink, rose, salmon, blue and white.Flowers are scented.

Common name(s)

Sweet pea,

Origin

Uses in landscape design

Excellent bedding, container and hanging basketet plants, particularly in cooler or more temperate areas.

Planting instructions

Choose a sunny north- or east-facing position for your bed and prepare the soil well in advance of planting, as sweet peas are gross (heavy) feeders. It is not necessary to dig a huge trench, but it should be ±250mm deep and wide. When removing soil from the trench, remember to put the topsoil on one side and the bottom soil on another. Work a lot of well-rotted manure and compost into the bottom soil, plus a cup of superphosphate for each running metre of trench. Next, mix compost and well-rotted manure into topsoil, adding half a cup of 3:2:1 (28) SR fertilizer for each metre of trench. This should be done a month in advance of planting. In the week before sowing, rake a sprinkling of lime into the trenches. Put up any trellises or supports before sowing.

Maintenance

Pinch back when 80mm tall, retaining a few strong shoots, then start training onto a trellis, using plastic budding tape. Water copiously several times a week. Once in bud, feed fortnightly with a liquid fertilizer such as Multifeed P, Kelpak or Supranure Plus.

Uses

Sweet peas make lovely scented cut flowers.

Common pests and diseases

Few diseases trouble sweet peas, but you may need to use protective netting over the seedlings, as birds consider the young shoots to be a great delicacy.

Other languages

Pronkertjie (A)

When to sow

Seed sowing instructions

Sow seeds at a depth of 12mm. In summer-rainfall areas, place some river sand at the bottom of seed drills to help with drainage. Keep the soil cool and damp, but not saturated.

Description:Seed companies offer packets of single-colour flowers in a range of hues: dark purple, maroon, pink, rose, salmon, blue and white.Flowers are scented.

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