Saturday, March 5, 2011

When can I plant Sweet Pea

Michael at Cultivate Cultivate Nursery and Gifts asked me 2 years back if we had any Sweet Pea punnets. Each year on St Patrick's Day he plants a narrow bed along the front of his nursery backed by a tall chain wire fence with Sweet Pea. I had to say no. Last year he repeated the request with a plea for us to sow even enough just for him. Um, I forgot. To my shame Michael has not given up so I have the chance of redemption this year.  (Thank you Michael, you are too generous) The Sweet Peas on the fence at Cultivate generate lots of discussion and of course inspire gardeners to grow the same.

Unfortunately I don't have a pic of Michael's fence.

The tradition of planting Sweet Peas on St Patrick's Day fascinates me. I like planting traditions: plant your Tomatoes on Cup Weekend is wonderfully Melbournian. Planting Sweet pea on St Pat's day is clearly ingrained here in Victoria but it's origin is Irish!?  According to the Gaelics sowing your Sweet Peas in the wee hours the night before St Pat's day will ensure more, larger and more fragrant flowers.
So the Irish have a tradition of sowing their Sweet Peas early in their spring and we have transported the named day but we ignored the reversal of season.

While Sweet Peas are nominally late Spring-early Summer flowering we find we can flower them through most of the year in Melbourne, they cope with the heat of Summer, but don't like it and the winter cold slows flowering but our mild climate is not cold enough to kill them off. Planting Sweet Pea on St Patrick's Day produces strong plants that are ready to flower as soon as they recognize the weather warming in Spring.

So we will have Mammoth Sweet Pea (punnets only) ready for St Pat's Day plus Bijou the dwarf variety in punnets and 200mm pots, all tied up in Tee Pees.  Plant now and you should have plants flowering just as the true early Spring sowing time comes around, imagine the interest that would generate.


  1. Great to see Scotsburn's blog
    I visited your nursery back in 1970 when I was a horticulture diploma student at Burnley - Your reputation is and has always been top!
    Regards John Mason
    Garden Writer &
    Principal ACS Distance Education

  2. Thanks for post I like it me also share with you some tips hope you like Just about every chain-link fence has a top-rail which adds a pretty good bit to the overall price. This is a pipe that runs along the top of the fence that has a purpose other than just looks. It's main function is to support the posts at each end of the fence which are also known as terminal posts and it also holds the fabric up so it doesn't sag between the line posts. The top-rail can be eliminated by making a few changes in the design of the fence.Cyclone Fencing


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