The best things in life often require planning, and our spring gardens are certainly no exception to that rule. Yes, fall has just begun, and you’re probably thinking more about the holidays than next year’s gardening projects! But if you get a head start now, then next year you could have the most well-planned, diverse, and vibrantly blooming yard on the block.

If a proliferation of delicate, frilly blooms on a climbing vine sounds appealing, then sweet peas might be right up your alley. They’re not actually a pea at all, and the annual flowers give off a fragrant scent reminiscent of honey and orange blossoms. Sweet pea vines are relatively easy to grow, provided you get started with them early.

Sweet peas prefer cool weather, and require about 50 days of temperatures under 60 degrees in order to bloom really well. For residents of Southern California, that means we need to get started in the fall or winter, because temperatures will begin rising in early spring. During this time, sweet pea vines will begin producing roots, but little top growth will be evident for a few months.

The best location for sweet peas is one that enjoys full sun, or one with late afternoon shade since too much heat can be detrimental. Of course, since sweet peas are a vine, your other concern should be providing them with a support of some type. You can plant them near a fence or trellis, or even allow the vines to climb through shrubs. Since sweet peas are annuals, you won’t have to worry about a mass of vines choking out the host.

Sweet pea vines can even be used in an edible garden, if you allow them to grow on the supports offered to your vegetable plants. The blooms will attract pollinators like bees, which will help your other plants to reproduce more rapidly. If you’re growing sweet peas purely for their visual appeal, remember that regularly cutting flowers from the plant will encourage further blooming.

If you’re thinking about how to make your spring garden the very best, give us a call! We can offer you expert advice on growing these lovely vines, and help you plan ahead for your spring garden.

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