Saturday, March 13, 2010
The picture above is of a hanging basket of sweet peas grown in England. Why couldn't I do that?
I love sweet peas, and I've planted them everywhere we've ever lived. They grow easily, bloom profusely and smell wonderfully. I've tried growing them three times here in Mira Loma, but have hit obstacles each time.
First, I planted them in a corner where they would get sunlight at least through mid-day. I strung up a netting for them to climb. They climbed all right, but they obviously needed more sun than I could give them because they only bloomed at the top of the net where they could have as much sunlight as they wanted. I had to climb up on a ladder to cut them for bouquets.
The second year I planted the bush type in that same area, and they grew way out of their boundaries, over onto the grass. And each week when the lawnmowing crew came by they either got weed-whacked or mowed. I think directions for the crew said to mow the grass and it didn't matter if there were flowers draped over the grass -- they rode their machine right over the flowers. I got a few bouquets but it was really not a successful growing event.
I didn't plant any last year, but this year I decided to try a different tack. I had seen on a website that hanging baskets could be used for sweet peas if you planted the bush type. Jerry kind of rolled his eyes when I told him what I wanted to do. He swears he is not going to do any more gardening, and I know that he'll take over whatever I start because I'm not very good at it. So he helped me get all the needed equipment and we sowed.
We planted them in November and watched for germination. Jer told me we were going to have to be ruthless in our thinning, because they needed root space to grow. I knew that, but when the time came I just about had a fit at what all he was pulling up - and I finally had to go in the house and sulk. I knew he was right, but I sure didn't like it.
He was right. This is what we have now. It is not good. There are too many plants. He has not told me that ("I told you so" is not something he wants to say unless he thinks I don't know.)
The potted pea plants are trying to grow, but they are gasping for air/soil/space. The baskets are right outside by office window and as I sit at the computer I can see -- and hear -- them. "AIR. SUN. SPACE." they moan. They do not look healthy at all. But I can't give up yet.
Look. I have one pea! :)