Planting sweet peas is an annual pleasure, a fall ritual that’s fun and fulfilling.  They’re so easily grown from seed: you get dramatic results from such a simple act.  Because the seeds are rather large and easily handled, growing sweet peas from seed is a terrific way to get young children and grand-kids interested and involved in gardening. Sweet PeaFall Planting Now’s the time!  If planted in September or October, (they need warm soil to germinate well), sweet peas will grow through the winter then burst forth with a lengthy, fragrant flower show as soon as the warm spring air arrives.  Early-Flowering Sweet Peas There are some varieties that will bloom by New Years--and through the winter--but you need to make certain you’re planting so called “early flowering” varieties. Plant these varieties during the first few weeks of September to get fragrant bouquets by the holidays: Early Multiflora Mix, Regal Robe, Velvet Elegance, White Elegance, Chiffon Elegance. Spring Planting It’s also possible to plant sweet peas from seed in spring, but they’ll bloom later--and because sweet peas poop out when the heat sets in, your blooming season may not be a long one. Be sure to start seeds early (first week of February) indoors and plant outside by mid-March. Or, if you can find them, plant in March from 6-packs. Sweet PeaHow to Plant Planting from seed is easy.  Soak the seeds overnight in a bowl of water.  Plant them 2 to 3-inches apart in soil that’s been well amended with an organic planting compost.  An area that gets full sun is best.  Once they germinate, thin to about 4 or 5 inches apart. Providing Support Remember, you’ll need to provide support for these fast-growing vines.  You’ve got lots of choices: nylon or plastic netting, wire obelisks, wrought iron sweet pea tuteurs, vertically tied string or twine— anything that the tiny tendrils can twine around.   Click to find more on plant guides >   Read monthly lawn and garden tips  >