New World Little Gardens

sweet pea pattern
sweet pea

Sweet pea

Lathyrus odoratus

Sweet peas are easy to grow and produce lots of fragrant flowers that are equally beautiful in the garden or in a vase.

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Getting started

  • Put the soil tablet on a saucer and pour 50ml of water over it.
  • Put on gloves and mix the water into the soil with your hands to make a wet mixture. Watch the soil expand.
  • Use most of your soil to fill up the pot to around 2cm below the top.
  • Carefully tear open the sachet and place the seeds on top of the soil (take care not to press down too hard).
  • Now use the rest of your soil mixture to cover the seed mat.
  • Remember to wash your hands when you’re done!

How to keep your Little Garden healthy

  • Place the pot on a clean saucer in a place with enough light, but not directly in the sun.
  • Check the soil in the morning, and before bed. If the soil feels dry and crumbly, pour a small amount of clean water over the surface.
  • Within 1-2 weeks you should see a little plant appear from the soil. That means the seeds have germinated and will be ready soon to move into a bigger pot or garden.
  • If more than one little plant grows, you can thin your sweet pea seedling by choosing the strongest-looking one and removing the others.

When your seedling is ready to go in the garden

  • When the sweet pea is about as tall as your hand (in approx. 1 month), it is ready to shift into the garden or pot.
  • Get your sweet pea used to life outside: you can harden off your sweet pea seedling by putting it in a warm and sheltered spot for 1-2 hours a day and return inside for the night. Do this for 4-5 days, leaving it outside for a little longer each day before you shift it out into the garden forever.

Planting best practice

  • Sweet peas like full sun with moist but free-draining soil.
  • Sweet peas are climbers, so give them something to scramble up! Plant at the bottom of a trellis or fence, or make a tripod by tying three garden stakes together at the top.
  • You can also grow them in hanging baskets.

Look after your plant while it’s growing

  • Water plants regularly, especially in dry weather, and at least once a fortnight once the buds start to appear.
  • When the plant is about 15cm high, you can thin your sweet pea by cutting off the growing tip to encourage more of the flowering side shoots to form.

Harvest time

  • As soon as flowers bloom, they’re ready to pick! Keep picking flowers so that new blooms are produced.
  • If flowers are left on the plant to die, seedpods will form, which will slow down and stop the flowering.

Pro tip

  • At the end of the season, let a few seedpods form and save the seed inside to plant the following year!

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