Sweet Peas, latin name Lathyrus odoratus, look just fantastic as the images above show but even better they are one of the most sweetly scented of garden plants. Sweet peas are long flowering and provide colour, scent and flowers to pick for months. Sweet peas are not difficult to grow but they do need regular attention throughout the summer.
To keep them flowering it is important to dead head regularly. Removing the spent flowers prevents the plant from making seeds, which in turn keeps it producing more flowers and prolongs the flowering season. Sweet peas also require attention, if you want straight stems, by removing tendrils on a regular basis, and they require watering during dry spells. The fact that sweet peas need so much attention is why they are tagged with a red wheelbarrow. The reward from sweet peas is their lovely scented flowers. The most important task is to dead head the flowers as they fade and form seed heads, this ensures the Sweet Peas flower for a long season. If sweet peas are not regularly dead headed, the blooms will get fewer and fewer, dead heading keeps the plant going and if you do this you can be picking sweet peas right through to November.
When planting out sweet peas pick a sunny spot, and they like moisture retentive soil which needs to be enriched with compost or other organic matter. If you encounter any problems growing sweet peas the most common problem is powdery mildew, a fungus which leaves white powder on the leaves. This fungus is much more likely to attack the plant if it is dry which is why it is so it is important to water sweet peas especially in any dry periods. There is a Sunday gardener Video How to plant and grow sweet peas