Early fall is the best time to plant sweet peas for fragrant bouquets in March and April. For sweet pea success, try these tips from Enchanting Sweet Peas (www.enchantingsweetpeas.com) of Sebastopol:
▪ Sweet peas love a sunny spot but need vertical support for their fast-growing vines. For best results, plant in well-cultivated soil, rich with composted manure.
▪ Use clean, fresh seed. Soak seeds overnight in room-temperature water before planting.
▪ To hasten germination, any seed not swollen after soaking may be “chipped.” Use a razor blade to chip, or break through, the pea’s hard seed coat so the sweet pea can sprout.
▪ Once the seeds sprout, feed the tender green shoots by spraying them with diluted fertilizer or weak manure tea. Aphids don’t like it and it stimulates growth.