Spring is not complete without a vase full of scented sweet peas adorning some part of the home for weeks on end. March is the correct time to sow seeds or plant out seedlings of these delectable legumes. Here are a few hints and tips to help you grow the best flower crop ever.

Select the correct type of sweet pea for your garden. Bijou Mix are compact and bushy ideal for beds and borders whilst Mammoth Mix are grown for there large flowers and long stems and require tall support to grow onto.

Soak the seeds in water for 8 to 10 hours before planting. This can be done directly into the garden or alternatively remove from water and leave them on a layer of damp kitchen paper towel to germinate. Once growth starts plant them into individual little pots or peat pots to grow into plants before setting them out into the garden. Peat pots ensure little or no transplant shock as they’re planted “pot and all” so to speak. They need rich soils and full sun growing conditions.

Pinch back plants when they’re 10 to 20 cm tall to encourage bushy growth. Feed every 7 to 10 days with 3:1:6 water-soluble plant food. Tie up climbing types until they can attach by themselves.