Growing Tips: Sweet Pea, Dwarf

Quick Reference:

Annual, a plant that completes it’s life cycle in one season. Sweet Peas germinate in 10 to 15 days at an optimum soil temperature of 55 degrees F. Soak seed in warm water 24 hours before planting, plant seed immediately. Cover seed with 1/2 inch soil spaced 2 to 4 inches apart. Plants spaced in the garden, 6 to 12 inches apart. Sweet Peas like to be planted so their roots are kept cool. Plant height: 24 to 30 inches.

When and where to plant:

In Alaska, sweet peas will bloom by mid to late summer when the seed is planted directly in the garden and can be planted as soon as the soil can be prepared and has warmed in the spring. Sweet peas prefer to be planted where they will grow all summer. When planting seed directly in the garden choose a sunny location and dig a trench 1 to 2 inches deep then plant the seed in the bottom of the trench. Sweet peas like their roots cool. After the plants are up and are growing gradually start filling the trench until the ground is level. For earlier bloom, sweet peas may be started indoors in individual plastic pots, 4 to 5 weeks before the last frost. Fill pots that have drainage holes with sterilized potting soil. Soak seed in warm water for 24 hours immediately before planting to speed germination, DO NOT soak longer. Plant 1 or 2 seeds per pot, firm soil over seed, water well and keep soil moist until seedlings emerge. When seedlings show their first green leaves water with a liquid solution of plant food and place pots in full sun where the nights are cool. Keep soil moist, water with a liquid solution of plant food every two weeks and grow indoors until the garden is ready. Transplant seedling to the garden after the last frost. Choose a garden area that has full sun with rich, fertile, well-drained soil, cultivate soil deeply, enrich with plant food and organic matter. Dig a hole for the seedling, fill it with water, slide the moist root ball out of the plastic pot being careful not to injure the roots, place the root ball approximately one inch below the soil surface and carefully press the soil around the root ball. Immediately water the plant well to help reduce transplant shock.

Care:

Plants prefer cool, moist soil, water regularly and apply plant food every six weeks during summer. Pick flowers to encourage more bloom.