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Sweet pea season

Sweet peas are in full bloom - here's how to keep them flowering as long as possible.

If, like me, you've been growing sweet peas from seed, you will likely have been planting those little seeds in the cold depths of winter when you could only dream of the frilly, scented flowers that hoped would come in the summer. The cyclical process of gardening is something I love, the fact that we plan for the future garden all the time.

I planted Sweet Pea 'Charlie Bear' and 'Pink Perfection' from Liz Stevens, along with a couple of old packets I had in the drawer.

Six months on my sweet peas are flowering beautifully, although because I wasn't good enough at labelling them at the time of planting I can't really tell which is which... Mine are all various shades of pink sweet pea so far, with one single, solitary purple sweet pea among them.

If you have grown sweet peas here are a few tips to keep them flowering and looking their best for as long as possible:

  1. Unless you want a big tangled mess of flowers growing through each other and through the flower bed, tie them into a support structure. If you didn't put some kind of support structure in place when you planted them you can add in some canes now.

  2. It's not essential to prune off the tendrils - I personally love the way these look. The only problem with sweet pea tendrils is that if they snag other stems with flowers on them this can cause your sweet pea stems to become bent.

  3. KEEP ON CUTTING!! This is perhaps the most important part of ensuring the longevity of your sweet pea flowers throughout the season. If you leave sweet pea flowers to grow on the plant and don't cut them the plant will start to produce seeds; once seeds appear, it's a signal to the plant that it's work is done, flowering is over and the plant will start to die back. It's lovely to see the flowers growing au naturel in the garden, but harvesting your sweet peas regularly will ensure they flower MORE - I promise.

  4. Keep sweet peas watered and fed with a liquid feriliser such as a tomato fertiliser to keep your plants in top condition - don't let them dry out too much.

Now all there is to do is sit back with a beautiful mug and enjoy tea in the garden while you admire your delightful sweet peas.

If you would like one of these pretty, British Sweet pea mugs or know someone else who would love a sweet pea gift, head over to the shop on my website.

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