Sweet pea seedlings growing in a pot

Tips for Growing Sweet Peas in Your Garden

Sweet peas are one of the many delights of spring. Their delicate flowers and sweet fragrance make them a favorite among gardeners. Sweet peas are also relatively easy to grow, which makes them a great choice for those just starting out in gardening.

Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your sweet pea plants.

Planting Time

The best time to plant sweet peas is in early spring, as soon as the soil can be worked. This is typically around the same time that you would plant other cool-weather crops like cabbage or broccoli. If you live in an area with very mild winters, you can plant sweet peas even earlier, as early as February.

Seed Preparation

Sweet pea seeds need to be soaked in water for 24 hours before planting. This helps them to germinate faster and results in sturdier plants. To soak the seeds, simply place them in a bowl or glass of water and leave them on your kitchen counter overnight.

Close-up of sweet pea sprout growing in soil.
Sweet pea sprout


Sweet peas need full sun and well-drained soil to thrive. If you have a spot in your garden that gets at least six hours of sunlight per day, that would be ideal. If you’re not sure about the drainage of your soil, you can test it by digging a hole and filling it with water. If the water drains within 24 hours, your soil should be fine for sweet peas.


Once you’ve selected a location and prepared your seeds, it’s time to plant. Sweet pea seeds are small, so it’s best to sow them directly into the ground rather than trying to transplant seedlings later on. To do this, make a shallow trench about ½ inch deep and sow the seeds about 2 inches apart.

Once all the seeds are in place, gently cover them with soil and water well.


With these tips, you should have no trouble growing beautiful sweet peas in your garden. Don’t forget to give them plenty of sunlight and water, and soon you’ll be enjoying their delightful flowers and fragrance.