Planting Sweet Peas in Spring
As a gardener, there is nothing more wonderful than planting sweet peas and other flower seeds in winter. When there is not much going on in the garden itself and I have been spending days inside because of the cold wet weather, getting out my packets of sweet pea seeds and watching them germinate and sprout inside is most satisfying!
So, if you've you've been thinking that there is nothing you can do for your garden other than sit and look at it through the window, then think again.
Sweet peas started early will reward you with sweet smelling and colorful blooms to pick and admire in place. If you garden in Zone 7 or colder, you will need to start your sweet pea seeds in late winter or early spring. Do not wait until last frost! As a general rule of thumb, you should start your seeds inside about 6-8 weeks before your last expected frost.
If you wait until after you have seen your last frost, you may be too late to plant and see a good result from your sweet peas. Some parts of the country have a very short spring where temperatures get hot very quickly. Sweet peas need the cooler weather to develop well.
Start your seeds by following the directions in How to Grow Sweet Peas and planting them out when temperatures are not going to dip below 23F – sweet peas don't need to be spoiled as they are a hardy annual and enjoy and grow well in colder weather. Harden seedlings off for at about a week, and then plant them out into the garden as soon as the soil can be worked.
Tip: it is better to prepare the soil in the autumn, but if you haven't done that this time, then just prepare the soil when you plant your seedlings.
Early sowing is one of the secrets of sweet peas, so if you are in Zone 8 or warmer, you can start and plant your sweet peas in Autumn or early winter, but you can also start your sweet peas in early spring or late winter if you didn't get around the starting them earlier.