Sweet Pea Support
Good evening everyone!
As you can probably already guess, today marked another day full of hard work in the garden. The sun was shining, the landscape was glowing green, and the birds and bees were having a field day with the warm weather. With the sore memory of yesterday’s sunburn still stuck in my mind, I opted to wear sunscreen today and cloak myself in a hat and makeshift “veil”… odd outfit for a gardener, I know. Looking ever-so stylish, I managed to dig in about half of the dahlia tubers and get a fair amount of the taller sweet peas planted in the garden.
Speaking of sweet peas… I don’t know about you other gardeners, but each and every year I think I’m making the coolest, most clever sweet pea support ever. And every year I fail. The sweet peas still flower until they just can’t anymore, but the structure either collapses or awkwardly hangs under their heavy weight. I’ve tried wigwams. I’ve tried willow branches. I’ve tried green garden poles. So why not try something new this year, right?
My father-in-law and I went to work this week to erect a stable sweet pea support system that (hopefully) can be used for years to come. I loaded up the car with some two-and-a-half meter long wooden poles, drove them home, gathered some recycled galvanized metal “fencing”, and headed into the vegetable garden. Piet grabbed his heavy-duty hammer, a ladder, and some metal pins and we were ready to go!
We used the good ol’ fashioned way of measuring… spit and dirt. Yee-haw! I also made sure to leave a generous amount of room along the bottom of the fencing. This way I can clean the earth and weed out any unwanted volunteers throughout the year. Instead of letting the fencing rest flush against the ground, I opted instead to tie some simple garden twine around the bottom for the plants to cling onto until they can reach the fence.
After some heavy lifting, pounding, pulling, and hammering, our sweet pea support stood tall and proud.
Now it was time to get the (not-so) little seedlings planted. I was surprised at how much the sweet peas had grown since being transplanted into their own personal pots. Some were over six inches tall already! As you can see from the roots sticking out of their peat pots, they were happily growing long and lanky. Many of the sweet peas went directly in the ground, peat pot and all. Some, however, had developed a bit of white mold. I chose to remove these guys from their pots, just in case… I’m sure a little mold wouldn’t be the end of the world, but you just never know.
As you can see from these two seedlings, pinching the tops of the new plants really did produce a fuller, better-branched vine. Rather than one main stem growing its way to the top, the pinched seedlings had developed several side-shoots… which, of course, means more flowers!
I gave them a good soak and a little good-night kiss before putting them to bed for the evening. I hope they sleep soundly… they’ll need all the rest they can get before they begin producing an explosion of fragrant flowers!
My body sore and tired, I think I’ll put myself to bed soon. I think I know what I’ll be dreaming of… arm-fulls of sweet flowers in the softest shades of the rainbow.
Sweet dreams everyone, and I’ll see you tomorrow! :)