Gardening: The ‘key’ to getting your sweet peas to produce more flowers

Gardeners’ World: Monty Don on sweet peas

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Sweet peas are a perfect summer plant that are available in a plethora of colours. They’re known for their sweet scent and stunning displays. Often, sweet peas are trained to go up frames, fences and canes.

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This month, sweet peas will be in full bloom and will continue to do so through until October.

However, it’s not always easy to get sweet peas to produce lots of flowers.

In partnership with garden furniture company Bramblecrest, gardener and RHS Gold winner Terry Winters has shared the “key” to getting sweet peas to produce more flowers.

Terry, who owns Ordnance House in Wiltshire, exclusively told that sweet peas need to be regularly picked.

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He said: “Plant out your sweet peas in mid-spring in a sunny site and the moment flower buds appear, start feeding them with a tomato feed.

“But remember to keep the soil moist during the summer months.

“The key with floriferous sweet peas is to always remember that the more you pick the blooms the more flowers the plant will produce.

“Which, of course, is a great excuse to fill your home with very beautiful, highly scented flowers.”

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Tomato feed is a high potash fertiliser which is why it’s perfect for sweet peas.

Terry received an RHS Gold award for his garden in the My Chelsea Garden competition in 2020 which was held in conjunction with the RHS and the BBC One Show.

Sweet peas can be sown from March to May in spring and then in the autumn from October to November.

Sweet peas will then flower from June through to October.

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They need cutting back in October and November, and like to be planted at a depth of one centimetre.

These delicate flowers can grow surprisingly large, reaching a height of two metres.

Most varieties of sweet peas will attach themselves to supports but others will need to be tied in.

It’s important sweet peas are supported and tied in when needed as otherwise they can fall down and break.

Sweet peas are a hardy annual which means they can survive the cooler weather.

Despite their delicate appearance, they can actually survive frost down to -4C.

However, sweet peas only live for one year and will die once they set seed.

There are perennial varieties that will return year after year but they are less fragrant.

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