Sunday, March 14, 2010

Plant Sweet Peas St. Patricks Day before dawn


Soggy Sweet Pea
Originally uploaded by freebird4

An Irish tradition is to plant sweet peas in the hours of darkness between the evening before and the dawn of St. Patrick's Day, which will ensure the best production of these beautiful flowers.
Sweet peas are such perfect plants, with their range of colors, delectable scents, and ease of growing. As soon as your climate and soil allow, plant sweet pea seeds. The widely known types are vines, however I always plant knee high or bush sweet peas. These don’t need fences or trellises to climb on.

Since the seeds are as hard as pebbles, you may want to nick each one slightly with a nail clipper or metal nail file, or soak them for an hour or more. Some years I skip this step and just plant the seeds and keep them well watered. I recommend for bush type sweet peas, Little Sweetheart, Heirloom Cupid, Bijou and Knee-Hi.

For information on the Irish tradition of planting sweet peas by lamplight in the dark hours between sunset the evening before Saint Patrick’s Day, and sunrise that morning, I wrote an article you can read at http://www.positivelyfeminine.org/Creative/garden/th/sweetpea.htm

26 comments:

Jemi Fraser said...

I've never heard that before! I love sweet peas - they're so pretty!

Queenmothermamaw said...

Oh how wonderful to learn the story of the sweet peas. I planted some one time and cannot get rid of them. I don't want to get rid of all of them, but I sure have to keep them cut back. Happy St. Pat's day to you.
QMM

Rebecca said...

Your comment on my Blog Post today made me SMILE. Thank you so much for visiting!

Love to you~Rebecca

Buttercup said...

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I've always liked sweet peas -- we had lots of them when I was growing up and happy to learn more about them. Please come and visit often.

GARAGE SALE GAL said...

Thanks for the info about sweet peas. I will TRY again to grow some this year.
Deb :)

Heart2Heart said...

Never heard of this tradition before but absolutely love this idea. The flowers look beautiful and I can't wait to try it.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Helen Ginger said...

I'd never heard of this tradition and had no idea what sweet peas looked like. They're beautiful!

Helen
Straight From Hel

lakeviewer said...

A new tradition, worth repeating across many lands.

Edith Hope said...

Dear Terra, I love this idea of the Irish tradition of planting Sweet Peas under the cover of darkness - something about which I had not heard of until now.

Whatever, they are a simply lovely flower and I do so like them thrust into vases around the house in summer.

walk2write said...

It's been too long since I've visited here. I wonder if sweet peas would do well here in Florida? I've never thought about growing them here since we don't have a fence or trellis. Those shorter varieties you suggested might work if they can stand the heat, which will begin showing up in another month or so.

Denise said...

I am going to do that!!!!!!!!! I am Irish through and through and I have never heard that!!!!!!!!! Sooo I am going to do that and then take pictures when they are beautiful !

Linda L. Henk said...

My sweet peas sit safely in their packages. Snow melted from the spot intended for these lovelies only a week ago. Today, March 15, I'm headed out to see if the ground has thawed and maybe see how wet the soil is before I plant. But rethinking, perhaps a little pre-dawn adventure planting sweet pea seeds might be fun!

Roses and Lilacs said...

I love old traditions like that. I wish I could plant mine now but it is much too cold still. But, maybe they would just wait until the perfect time to germinate.
Marnie

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hi Terra!

Love the sweep pea photo. I remember when we could plant them in northern Indiana on St. Paddy's Day.
Our weather seems to have changed a lot the past ten years......I miss having them. They are a delight to the eye and soul!

XXOO!!
Anne

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

We must have signed on as followers of each others blogs at the same time! LOL!!!

XXOO!!
Anne

P.S. You're entered in the give-away! ♥

Marilyn said...

Thank you so much for visiting my blog!! I just love yours.....
I love Sweet Peas as my Grandmother had them in her gardens & I can remember their sweet smell. She had them cut & in vases all over her house.
When I smell Peonies or Sweet Peas I always think of her!!
Have a Wonderful Week!
Marilyn

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I can see why they'd select a great looking plant like the sweet pea. I haven't heard of this tradition and plan to go read more about it.

Ima Weed said...

Thank you for the visit to weedy acres. Have been reading some of your posts and will return for a longer sitting.

Gill - That British Woman said...

I have never heard of that before. I think I will go and put my sweet peas into soak overnight and plant them in pots tomorrow on St. Particks Day.

That is something new I have learned today.

Gill in Canada

Brenda said...

Thanks for visiting my blog, and your comment on "
She prayed for me". I will keep this for a long time.

D'Ann said...

I love this tradition!
Both my grandmothers followed it, and so do my daughter and I!

Coralie Cederna Johnson said...

Oh yes! I remember that tradition from a friend who always planted at that time. Her Sweet Peas were perfectly beautiful! Happy St. Patricks Day!
Enjoy!
Coralie

Ceara said...

I've never grown sweet peas and don't think I have even smelled them. I adore folklore about when to start plants. One thing I do not understand is why so many people want to grow dwarf vine plants. The sky is the limit even if ground space is at a premium. I guess the pain of installing climbing structures is the reason. Happy St Patty's Day!

Holly said...

I have never heard that before. I wonder if sweet peas would grow where I live...I do love them so.

Kathleen Wichterman said...

I'm one of those authors who commented on the "Why don't people comment" blog. Now I'm commenting. (Smile).

I'm Irish, a gardener, and never heard that about the Sweet Peas. It's a couple of days late, but I think I might still do that. Thanks for sharing.

Kathleen M. Wichterman
www.puzzlepieces.info

Beansieleigh said...

Hi Terra! My gosh, I've never heard this before, but I think I may have to plant a few, better late than never I figure... I LOVE sweet pea perfumes, and soaps, so I'd love to grow some too! Enjoy your weekend! ~tina