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I had no interest in gardening, being brought up in Australia where we had a " shrubs and lawn" garden. But when I moved to my first house here in 1992, my new husband was a gardener and I got hooked growing sweetpeas and runners beans. Gardening is so rewarding and we can get the bug at any age, as long as we have someone to guide us in the early days. And TV, magazines and the internet have become a great tool for that.....   

Rob Stevens
I'm a recent convert to gardening with sweetpeas being one of my first things grown. Mine are bushing out nicely, but going a bit slowly from the sounds of things here. They were sown in February and it's been particularly cold this spring, so no surprise really! Some lovely pictures here. Will post some of mine when there's something to show.

Some sound advice here so thanx to everyone - I love sweetpeas with a passion and ordered some special ones this year but I did everything wrong and they're frankly pathetic

October sowing this year and no molly-coddling!

I would love a tutorial on sweet peas, us newbies need all the help we can get.


David-I think you should do it if you have the time to answer questions- I do look on you as the sweet pear guru-but you are not getting a badge


David K- I would love to see your tutorial to know how to grow sp, every year I sow in the spring as I never knew they would cope with the cold until now. I sow them in root trainers, then when planted out I give them plenty of compost and water well, but they never seem to do very well compared to others I've seen. They do not grow very tall only about 1-2 foot, and even though I pick the very few flowers and do not get that many more. So your knowledge would be very much appreciated.
Another vote for David K to guide us all through the secrets of sweet pea growing. I was a bit late with mine this year (well very late...March.) they've only got to knee height now, maybe I'll be able to cut a few in August?
hollie hock

I love sweet peas, did some Autumn sowings last year but at the time I thought they were eating by tiny black flies, I know know they were eaten by slugs

My spring sowings have had the first flowers over the last few days. From reading this thread, I will be doing Autumn & Spring sowings from now on.

I would love to hear any information about how to get loads of long lasting blooms.


They look great, and also a great suggestion.


I am so pleased my comments at the beginning of the month have started something big! There seem to be enough interest to start a sweetpea growing thread so go for it! And hope lots more gardeners are inspired by David K! Enjoy! 

Yes at last I might be able to pick a bunch of flowers with all the help, looking forward to next year already.
I remember one year, when we used to have summers, when I used the whole of a 12' border to grow sweet peas and was cutting about 70 a day. This year I I have an obelisk with a dozen or so struggling their way up. They look healthy and green, and are in what should be one of the sunniest spots in the garden. My mange tout and ordinary peas were planted out at the same time and are romping away. I thought all 3 were closely related, just wondering whether David could comment on the discrepancy in growth?

My query about sweet peas after reading a lot about them on here and other posts is.....if they are continually picked, therefore growing new flowers, why is it necessary to grow 2 batches?  One obvious observation is that the flower stems do shorten the older the plant gets.......unless they get 'pruned'........

...............this year my very tall sweet pea plants, in the garden (not pots) were thrashed by strong winds several weeks ago, so I chopped off the damaged stems, the top 3 foot or thereabouts of the plants, thinking I had nothing to lose as they were slowing down anyway.  The 'pruning' has definitely given the plants a new lease of life.   

I usually sow them in Spring but am going to try to get earlier flowers next year by planting now as they appear to be much hardier than I ever thought.  


I sow mine in the autumn but they do run out of steam by the end of August most years, they're often flowering in mid May so it's quite a long flowering period, even with lots of feed there is only so much energy within a plant. If I spring sow these will often go into October so it extends the season for a few weeks.