Now is the time of year to divide perennials that have outgrown their plot. Dig up the plant and with a spade divide it into 2 or more clumps depending on the size and then re-plant around the garden. A great way to get extra plants for free!
There’s an excellent choice in the garden centres and nurseries at the moment so you should find good quality bulbs. Try to plant by the end of September.
Cut stems with seed heads and place in a warm, dry place such as greenhouse or sunny windowsill. When dry, store the seeds in a paper envelope or small cardboard tubes (see our Seed Saver tubes) and store in the refrigerator or somewhere cool and dry until ready to be used.
Sweet peas have been a popular garden plant since first being introduced into England at the end of the 17th century and the original variety, Cupani, is still available.
A burst of hybridising at the end of the 19th century and early 20th century marked the development of the modern sweet pea, particularly the Spencer types.
Most Sweet Peas offered to the home gardener are Summer flowering. They need at least 12 hours daylight before they can flower. If sown too early the plants become very big before they flower. Winter and Spring flowering strains flower with 10 and 11 hours daylight respectively.
Generally sweet peas don’t enjoy being transplanted. Seed can be sown outdoors in a sunny, well drained site. In cold areas it would be best to wait now until spring. Sweet pea plants are available in garden centres, be careful when transplanting not to disturb the roots. If sowing seed it’s recommended to soak the seeds in water overnight to speed up the germination process.
Sweet peas prefer a sunny position away from strong blustery winds. Stake or provide support for taller growing varieties. Dwarf sweet peas need no staking so can be grown in an open area.
Once seedlings are about 5-10cm high pinch the tips to encourage strong side shoots. Sweet pea vines have tendrils and will attach themselves to most any type of support with meshing or lines.
Seed pods will appear in the autumn; seeds from these can be saved and sown for next season.