i live in south arkansas been trying to grow sweet peas for a couple of years no luck! in my area what time of year should i plant? i am going to try to start them in the house in jan. and transplant in middle feb. has anyone tried this with any luck any help would be grateful
I plant a smooth seeded English pea (Willet Wonder or Alaska) in November and over winter. I make a second planting in early February and plant wrinkled seeded varieties like Green Arrow in late February and early March. Finish harvest around June first. They are not very demanding, but do not tolerate heat or acid soils.
Best results for ALL Sweet peas or any member of the pea family, is to either Chaff the individual seeds, (that is use a Nail file or sand paper) rub each seed with the file / sand paper JUST ENOUGH to remove some of the hard coat these seeds have, and only rub the one area, NOT the whole seed.
This allows faster germination and prevents the seeds from rotting IF grown in too wet soil while awaiting germination.
Almost all Sweet Pea seeds should germinate after about 14-21 days, and would require division and potting on into individual SMALL pots when the seedlings are about 2 inches high or large enough to handle.
Only handle seedlings by the leaf, NOT the stems, as bruising of the stems allows diseases / mould ect to get hold, for best results at potting on, try use long tapered pots or root trainers as we call them, Personally I use used cardboard empty toilet tissue holders or kitchen paper funnels, group 4-5 together with rubber band to help support them to stand upright, and place in a seed tray or other square box, fill with compost and insert each individual seed, one per cardboard funnel, when ready to plant out, you plant the whole cardboard tube too, it will rot away over the season and de-compose, the roots might even grow through the tube in time.
This allows the seedlings to be kept inside or protected for longer while waiting for the right planting weather because the long roots these plants form are not disturbed when planting outdoors at early spring, or well after any threat of frost or cold nights are gone, plant out in situ into well prepared soil with plenty humus added as these, like all the pea family are greedy feeders and don't like root disturbance, water often, stick finger into soil regularly to access if water is required as in really hot weather there is a crust forms on top soil and any water runs off. Always have the netting/ framework that the plants will climb up, in place before you plant
2ND method is to soak the seeds in WARM water for 24 hours in shallow dish, the wrinkled
seeds may loose there wrinkles but both types will have their tough outer coat softened and this will allow germination to be helped and speed it up, you then plant as given for the first method.
Remember IF your growing separate different types or named varieties, always make sure you have the name / colour etc either on a label set into the water or place the paper packet with full info under the dish so you don't get colours or height of plants mixed up.
Forgot to mention to remove all the tentacles that the plants produce for clinging onto the frame, and use ties to help them grow upward before they form flowers or you end up with weaker flowers (The plants use up lot's of energy forming tentacles that are only really required in the wild) these tentacles also get wrapped around the flower stems stunting their growth and if you want cut flowers, you want long straight stems,
Dead head spent flowers EVERY OTHER DAY because IF you allow the plants to form seed pods, they will make less flowers or stop flowering all together and if dead headed often they can flower constantly right through till autumn by feeding them every so often, even with plenty humus added to soil, I also add fish/blood/ bone to soil and fork in to top soil as that is a slow release fertiliser and NON chemical.
Hope this all helps you out a bit and you have great success this year.
Wee Nel I think that we've ended up talking about two different plants. It seems you are talking about the flower that's called sweet pea because you are talking about dead heading them. I think the original poster was talking about garden peas as opposed to field peas which are more akin to beans.
I've always just planted garden peas. around here I'm inclined to try the last week in April or first week in May. I've planted them the first of March and while they did germinate and grow, it took so long that they weren't any earlier than those I planted at the end of April. Remember it doesn't get really hot around here until sometime in July.
What I would do in take the date when your area consistently is in the high 70's °F back off the days to maturity, move another week to ten days earlier and figure that was about the time you need to have peas that are germinating.
For example if your temperature is consistently in the high 70's by June 15th and you are growing a variety that has a DTM of 60, I'd back up 70 days from June 15th which is April 5. Now if your soil at that time is 50°F it's going to take about 14 days for your peas to germinate. (http://tomclothier.hort.net/page11.html) so they need to go in the ground around March 21. If your soil gets to 50°F sooner than I'd plant sooner. If you don't have a 70 day window between the time you soil warms up and when it gets too hot, I do something to warm my soil early and keep it cool later.
Concur in southern Arkansas, I would plant Canoe ( a mid season 70 day wrinkled seeded pea) in early March. If you have reasonable soil, germination should not be a problem. Main problem with peas in the south, is that you have to harvest before temps began hold in the upper 90's. It takes a lot of plants for shelling peas, I would not even consider starting and transplanting. I direct sow 1-2 inches deep, 1-2 spacing in double rows 10 inches apart, 24 inches between double rows. That way I don't need any trellis.
Glad you cleared that up Doug, SWEETPeas here are the flowering plants, don't eat the seeds as they are poisonous.
Garden, peas and that side of the same family are what we call the veg type (edible) type of plants, Propagation for the veg/edible plants would be started here using the second method I gave, starting sewing around end of FEB / March, depending on type of peas selected as there are now a huge choice of early, mid and late season but they all should have germinated between 14-21 days from planting.
Thanks again Doug, don't want anyone to be miss informed.
Have a great season in the garden this year and much success.
Best Regards, WeeNel.
thanks for the info i have a trellis system in place for pole beans and cucumbers so thats not a problem my seeds keep rotting. thats why i was asking about transplant. every time plant it comes a rain for about 5 days and then no peas come but one or two i am gone away from home a lot so i have to plant when i can
Just a thought Lee, have you found the rotted vegetation or just empty spaces in the row where you planted the seeds, IF it's the latter, then maybe they are not rotting away but the seedlings are being eaten by either slugs, birds or even mice as they love the hard pea seeds. IF you are away at the time of germination takes place, it may be they are deprived of water at such a delicate stage of the plants growth.
Food for though maybe.
Good luck and best regards. WeeNel.
that could very well be the problem thats why im going to try to transplant this year. i am going to try to start all my garden plants from seeds this or give it a try if i could get the wife to take care of them while im gone. loves to eat it not much on the help
My kids were the exact same, they to had selective hearing, they loved to raid the peas, Strawberries and everything, but never thought to turn a hose on or weed, OH well Lee there's still hope, now my kids are grown up and are parents themselves, they are gardening and growing lots of edible crops themselves so all my nagging, hit's and bemoaning was stored away for later Ha, ha, ha.
Good luck and Kindest Regards.
i was the same way growing up didnt want to do any chores. as a child raised chicken, rabbits, hunted and fished, worked the garden rarely went to grocery store. but now when i look back some of the best lessons i have ever learned. i am trying to instill it in my son. maybe he will carry it with him when he gets on his own.