Friday, July 26

Not so sweet

I don't know what has happened to our sweet peas this year. We have planted the same varieties as usual from the same supplier. We've sown and planted in the same way - except from that this year we have used weed control fabric either side of them and we have used hazel sticks as support rather than netting. I can't see either of these variables affecting them adversely as the eating peas are growing better than usual using the same method.

The plants are growing OK although they haven't grown as tall as they usually do - maybe they will eventually as they are only really just coming into flower. 
Usually the first flush of sweet peas have long stems and have several flower heads to one stem - as the season progresses the stems shorten and the number of flower heads decline.

This year we are starting off with short stems each having only one or two flowers. We have watered them but we have concentrated more on keeping the edibles going so maybe haven't watered them enough.

The plants have also been planted in the same place now for several year so maybe they are lacking in the required nutrients. Maybe a feeding regime is needed. But is it too late?
The colours and scent are the same as always and gathered together in a vase the failings of individual flowers are not as apparent but it does seem that this year is not the year of the sweet pea on our plot.


26 comments:

  1. The hazel sticks look well as sweet pea structures. Maybe it was the cold early Spring that has delayed their growth a little and they haven't quite got caught up yet. They still look nice and the flower bouquet is lovely.

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    1. They seemed to start off OK as usual Kelli but I suppose they could have still thought it was winter

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  2. We don't grow sweet peas but their scent can't be beaten can it? Just looking at your photo is enough to bring tge fragrance to me!

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    1. I wonder if that will be the next step in technology, Belinda digital scent

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  3. Sweet peas are the archetypical "cottage garden" flower. So beautiful and so comfortingly familiar. They remind me of the garden of a Great aunt in the New Forest. She always had a vase of them on the kitchen table whenever we visited her in the Summertime. I hope yours are just avoiding peaking too soon, because they don't want to get sunburnt!

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    1. I'm hoping they will improve too, Mark

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  4. It was probably too hot for your sweet peas. I think I read somewhere that you have hotter summer than usually. sweet peas don't like hot weather. That's why we plant all our peas in March. After May they stop growing.

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    1. It could be Leanan - strangely though the edible peas are not suffering in the heat and are really lush

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  5. Cut em and feed em sue. I tend to water mine quite a lot and feed them cos sweet pea can be so greedy. My outdoor ones don't get quite as well treated as the indoor ones and it really does show. i have to shorter stems on the outdoor ones yet the indoor ones of the same variety have the long stems.
    Maybe the weird weather conditions has affected them? I don't know about your weather but here it's hot one day, muggy the next and then foggy and drizzly the next.
    I know some say sweet pea don't like hot weather but the ones in the poytunnel here which gets very hot are doing better than the outdoor ones - maybe it's the humidity in the tunnel they like though as I damp it down most days.

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    1. I will Linda and hope they improve.

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  6. My sweet peas never produced any flowers last year at all, I moved where I normally plant them & they seem to be doing well, they were a bit later than usual though.

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    1. So that seems down to nutrients, Jo doesn't it? The trouble is I really want them to stay where they are. I wonder which nutrient is missing?

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  7. Your sweet peas are doing better than mine.....as you say it's odd that the edible peas are thriving...mine are too, yet my sweet peas are only five inches tall.....most odd!xxxx

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    1. When did you plant them Snowbird?

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  8. Hi Sue! I tried to leave a comment this morning from my phone and I think i've just figured out that it;s not been working for any blogger sites with my phone! So there'll be countless other comments i've left you that might not have worked either?! I tried to say that my sweet peas have been good on the whole but my actual peas a lot shorter than usual, seriously shorter in fact?! They cropped first though but nothing now? Plants are odd at times!

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    1. What a pain with your phone, Anna. Mine's only a really old fashioned, mobile so I can't use it for such things anyway. Martyn's is a smartphone and he has lots of trouble with it - in fact it isn't very smart at all!.

      So strange that you experiences are just the opposite way round to mine!

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  9. Same problem with me Sue - only half the size they normally are and mine have been watered every day.

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    1. So it isn't lack of water then, Elaine.

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  10. I bet they lack of nutrients in the soil. Even though, they look beautiful.

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    1. Seems that way Dewberry although they have been fed. Either that or the weather

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    1. We fed them yesterday L to be SS and if it is lack of water they more than made up for it with the rain last night. I need a shorter name for you maybe LSS :)

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  12. Sue, I'd guess lack of rain and the heat, so the plants are putting their energies into flower heads rather than throwing up loads of greenery.

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    1. Maybe Bilbo although it isn't doing too good a job at producing flowers.

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  13. I love your hazel pole support system, so sorry they haven't performed as well as normal. Mine have gone to seed but that is entirely my fault for not picking them enough. Lack of water seems to be the best idea for why.

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    1. It probably was lack of water as they have now improved, Janet

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