3 Reasons to Grow Sweet Peas in Autumn

Let’s get straight to the point… Autumn sown Sweet Peas produce

  1. Stronger plants with a good root system
  2. Healthier plants with better disease resistance
  3. Masses of scented flowers for cutting

There’s no reason to wait until spring as long as you have a small covered area to protect them from the worst of the winter weather.

How to Grow Sweet Peas in Autumn.

I’ve grown a lot of Sweet Peas and this works best for me:

  1. Sow two seeds per cell/root trainer and keep them in a cold frame, polytunnel or unheated greenhouse. Mice love Sweet Pea Seeds so it’s best to keep them protected from the hungry little critters until they have all germinated.
  2. Grow on in the cell/root trainer until your seedlings are well established then pot them on. I recommend potting two well established seedlings into a tall 1L pot because they have long roots.
  3. Sweet Peas are quite hardy so they easily survive throughout winter without any special attention. They will grow roots first and then when the days lengthen and the temperature rises a little you’ll notice that the stems and leaves are growing quickly. Pinch out the tips to encourage production of site shoots and allow them to grow on.
  4. In March plant each pair outside together at the base of a tall hazel or bamboo cane and tie them in carefully. Take care to keep the rootball intact so as not to disturb the roots and check the plants growth. Please note that Sweet Peas grow up to 1.8m – 2.10 metres /  6 – 7 feet tall so it’s important to make sure that your supporting canes are long enough!

Sweet Peas for Autumn Sowing

There are some lovely varieties for you in the Sweet Pea Shop this month. I’ve selected some of the best Sweet Peas based on scent, vigour, reliability and flower production. Many of them have the RHS Award of Garden Merit and they are suitable for exhibiting and winning gold medals at flower shows too. If you have a particular colour scheme in mind these named varieties are available in single colours so it’s easy for you to choose Sweet Peas to match your theme.

Sweet Peas are also available in Collections. Each collection has blooms that perfectly complement each other. All you need to do is sow and grow to be sure of a super-duper display in your garden and you’ll have plenty of flowers for cutting. Nothing beats that feeling of having a beautiful garden with flowers to pick whenever you like.

If you are planning to grow your own flowers for a special event next year such as a wedding or an anniversary party, then in my view Sweet Peas are essential. You’ll save a lot of money by growing your own and have masses of beautiful scented flowers to choose from. Why not enlist the help of a couple of friends and grow a collection each?

Are you growing Sweet Peas this Autumn? Which are your favourite varieties?



The reason I’ve written this post now is because I’ve been asked to remind readers which seeds to sow at the appropriate time. Naturally I’d prefer to write about things you actually want to read… so I have a few of questions and I would really appreciate your views.

  1.  Would you like more of this type of post with gentle prompts to inspire and encourage you to have a go?
  2.  What else would you like to know about growing, sowing and gardening?
  3.  Would you like to start a creative business using your garden or allotment to grow plants and flowers?
  4.  Are you interested in improving your garden photography for your blog and social media?
  5.  Is there anything else you’d love to read about?

Thank you so much for reading, liking and especially for commenting. I appreciate your thoughts!

If you have questions or ideas you can comment in the usual way below or if you would prefer to send me a private message you are most welcome to use my Contact form.

Papaver nudicaule Champagne Bubbles

Summer is the time to sow Iceland Poppies and here are my favourites right now. I love this new variety Papaver nudicaule ‘Champagne Bubbles’. They really are the most beautiful flowers to grow from seed. Poppy seeds are so tiny it’s hard to believe that such beautiful blooms are produced in just a few months. I was completely blown away by the large colourful flowers when I took these photos in April in my greenhouse. They have gorgeous open papery blooms which open like crumpled silk. Flowers are all shades of orange, pink, yellow, red and white. They are extremely hardy and will tolerate cold winters. Flowers are produced in late spring and early summer before the rest of the garden really gets going. I’m always looking for some early plants for my garden and these fit the bill beautifully. If you’re looking for some colour in your garden in spring and early summer too then Iceland Poppies may be just the thing for you.

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Sowing Biennials

Hesperis-MatronalisWhat are Biennials?

Biennials are hardy plants which grow roots and foliage this year then flower next year. Sown in summer they have around eight months to produce super strong healthy plants which are capable of producing lots of lovely strong flower stems from late spring onwards.

Why grow Biennials? Biennials are brilliant for early flowers next year. They usually start blooming in May and finish in July although there are exceptions. A patch of Hesperis (Sweet Rocket) in our garden has been flowering since April and is still producing lovely pale purple blooms in August. If you like to grow flowers for your home or you have a special event in late spring or maybe you are planning to sell cut flowers next year…  you’ll find biennials very reliable and super productive. They are inexpensive to grow from seed, healthy and vigorous and more to the point don’t need much attention from the gardener.
What’s not to love?

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Super Sweet Peas

Sweet Peas ThumbnailDid you know that one wigwam of Sweet Peas will give you a bunch of flowers every day? All you have to do is remember to pick them regularly to prevent the plants setting seed. They are one of the most beautiful scented productive flowers I know and well worth growing. Each year I grow a few new varieties to see which I like best of all.

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