Gathered sweet pea seed. Cupani? How to plant?

Bob_B(Sunset 14, Ca.)September 17, 2010

There is a shady bend in a road in Santa Rosa, under a big oak where beautiful bicolor sweet peas bloom in the wild each spring. They look just like "Cupani" photos, an ancestral sweet pea. They probably escaped from a nearby yard. I've always said I would gather some seed to plant along a semi shady fence at the back of my house. Today, I stopped, found some pods with seeds and collected them.

Sunset and other sources give variable instructions on how to plant and grow sweet peas. Anyone ever try them? Sound like Cupani's (bicolor magenta and purple)? When to plant?


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I plant sweet peas in October. Most varieties need to bloom before the spring weather heats up. Al

    Bookmark   September 18, 2010 at 9:10AM
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They like them some good soil, so incorporate some good stuff in your planting patch. Maybe even dig down a foot.
Even 5 linear feet of a sweet pea patch should give you more than enough bouquets, so a small amount of work turning and sprucing up your soil is worth the effort.
I put the seed in a glass of water overnight before sowing, which I do sometime around Halloween. Sow a little more than an inch deep and maybe 3 or 4 inches between can thin later if necessary.
The only other tip to stave off disappointment is when seedlings emerge, they must be protected by some sort of caging from birds, which will nip the seedlings when small. Once the seedlings get to 5 or 6 inches tall, they are usually safe and protection can be removed. It is also a good idea to put in your climbing structures early...if yours will be climbing a fence, perhaps you can just put up strings or netting or chicken wire for them to climb up...sounds easy. It is easier to have these climbing aids in place before the sweet peas grow too much.
Sow in Oct - Nov, flowers from May to almost July. Garden jewels that everyone loves.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 1:29PM
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If you do not bait for slugs when you plant, and refresh as needed you may not ever see a sweet pea. Some new gardeners complain they "can not grow sweet peas" or that their sweet peas "never germinated" because the slugs devour them as they emerge. Al

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 9:39AM
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loribee2(CA 9)

...And mine got so completely decimated by aphids last year that I needed a hazmat suit to pull them out. I'll be spraying with neem from the start next time I plant them.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 3:16PM
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