Photo - Linda Ross
Sweetpeas (Lathyrus odoratus)
Sweetpeas are traditionally planted by St Patrick’s Day, March 17th. They can be sown into containers as well as garden beds. Seeds will germinate faster if they are rubbed on sandpaper to scarify them, then soaked overnight in warm water. Plant in a large pot, 15 cms apart, one each at the base of three stakes. Tie the stakes into a tripod, or buy something ornamental to do the job, and direct the climbing growth up the supports. Dwarf sweetpeas can be grown without support in pots or hanging baskets. After you have enjoyed the heavenly scented flowers of spring, use the spent sweetpea plant as a green mulch. Like all legumes they help fix any nitrogen in the soil for the use of other plants in the garden.