Sweet pea planting date Central NJ?

evan_nj(6)January 25, 2006

I'm new to Central New Jersey (Princeton area) and was wondering when I should expect to plant sweet peas in the ground directly and/or how soon I should start them indoors? I thought I would try both methods this year.

I've moved from Chicago where I never could get sweet peas to grow at all because the weather went from too cold to too hot with hardly any spring at all. I'm hoping that I'll have better luck in a more moderate climate.


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njtea(NJ Z6)

"More moderate climate" - ha!

I recall starting them in mid-March in a "normal" weather year but what's "normal" any more.

The NOAA forecast for February is warmer and wetter than average - if that persists, maybe early March.

I've had my best luck with sweetpeas planting themm in a big pot that then sits on the porch.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2006 at 8:15AM
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mprats(z6NJ Plainfield)

For the past two years, I have started my sweet pea seeds in large peat pots indoors in mid-February and set them out in April and they grew and bloomed fine -- of course once the scorching heat arrived they were fried, but I did get a good share of blooms.

I think common lore has it that St. Patrick's Day is the time to sow peas outside.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2006 at 9:05AM
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JerseyJohn61(z6b NJ)

I know in Ireland they try to have potatoes planted by St.Patty's day mprats. Not sure if pea should be. Anyway, Evan, if the weather is fine and the soil is workable in late march go for it. If not, wait for first or second week of April. The Heat of late June or early July usually puts the kabash on them.

What varieties do you plan to grow ? Best of luck....JJ61

    Bookmark   January 26, 2006 at 10:35PM
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Hi JJ61,

I'm going to try Wilshire Ripple and Chatsworth both from Thompson & Morgan. My daughter and I do seeds in the basement most years. This year's list includes Thunbergia 'Blushing Susie'; Tagetes 'Starfire' (an old favorite); and various other annuals just for fun.

Despite the variability of the NJ climate, it is still an amazing improvement over Chicago (zone 5). It was so cold and harsh where I lived that I couldn't even get weeds to grow reliably. In a garden with 100+ varieties of flowers planted, I had almost no self-seeding going on at all. The plants that I brought with me from Chicago have grown more in two years in NJ than in 5 years in IL.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2006 at 8:53PM
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I always start my snow peas in March. I am talking about the vegetable, not the flower. I also put regular peas out in March but haven't planted them in a while due to space limitations.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 7:24AM
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