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Why Grow Sweet Peas?

  • Written by Renee Shepherd, owner of Renee’s Garden On behalf of Molbak’s Garden +Home
With their graceful beauty, ruffled blossoms, soft texture and glowing colors, sweet peas are one of the most irresistible annuals. Their blooms offer an exquisite perfume of orange blossoms and honey, surely one of the most seductive of all flower fragrances.

Properly planted and tended, sweet peas are carefree and easy to grow in the Pacific Northwest.

Because so many varieties have been developed, sweet peas come in a symphony of soft colors and bi-colors.

A vase of their long-stemmed winged blossoms will truly scent an entire room.

Growing sweet peas is easy and rewarding if you follow the basics.

• Plant when danger of frost is over and soil can be worked, usually late March through April.

• Sow seeds in a sunny spot with good air circulation and well-drained, fertile soil.

• Set up a well-anchored trellis for climbing varieties before planting seeds.

• If all your seeds don’t germinate within 3 weeks, don’t hesitate to plant more as they will catch up quickly.

• Be sure to control slugs and snails.

Growing tip: Make a small nick in each seed with a nail clipper, just enough to break the tough seed coat, to improve germination.

Planting a row of 15 or 20 feet will reward you with wonderful centerpiece bouquets whose lovely flowers and deliciously evocative fragrance will bring pleasure to everyone.

10 great sweet pea varieties for the Pacific Northwest:

Fragrant Tall Vining Varieties:
April in Paris
Zinfandel
Blue Celeste
Queen of the Night
Royal Wedding
Saltwater Taffy
Watermelon
Chiffon Elegance

Shorter Fragrant Varieties:
Jack and Jill (dwarf)
Heirloom Cupid (for containers)

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