Sweet pea

How to irrigate sweet pea

This plant, perfect for decorating gardens, needs regular watering, especially during the summer season; it is essential that the soil never stays dry for too long, as this could cause serious damage to the flowering. At the same time, however, it is essential to avoid annoying water stagnation, due to excessive irrigation and cause of root rot. The administration of water resources, therefore, must be carried out on the basis of rainfall trends, and must be considerably limited if the rains are abundant. It is suggested to use demineralized water for this important operation. In addition, if the temperatures are too high, it is advisable to water early in the morning, before sunrise, or immediately after sunset.

Sweet pea cultivation and care

The sweet pea usually multiplies by sowing; the ideal is to place the seeds in a basin full of water for a few hours, before planting them in a container filled with garden soil mixed with peat and a small amount of sand. The operation should be carried out in the spring, possibly between the end of March and the beginning of April. This plant prefers soft, well-drained soils to avoid water stagnation, and not excessively compact. It is necessary to remove, before planting, weeds and stones that could hinder optimal growth of the specimen. It is necessary to carry out, annually, a pruning limited to the damaged branches, while those attacked by fungi must be cut as soon as the onset of the disease is recognized.

How to fertilize sweet pea

The fertilization of sweet pea can be performed in two ways: either by using liquid fertilizers, to be administered to the plant together with the irrigation water, or by using slow release granular products. In the first case it is suggested to carry out the operation every fifteen days, in the second approximately every four months. It is important to provide the cultivated specimen with the substances it needs; the three essential macro-elements that should never be lacking are potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen. The fertilizer, of course, must also be selected on the basis of the chemical composition of the planting soil. It is recommended to avoid an overabundance of nitrogen in autumn: this, in fact, would lead to an immeasurable growth of the vegetative parts in the winter season.

Sweet pea: Exposure, diseases and pests

For this plant it is better to avoid exposure directly hit by the sun’s rays; half-shaded environments are more suitable. A danger is also represented by fungal diseases caused by an excess of humidity: the fungi cause the decay of the specimen, affecting above all the foliage and the shoots, and can be contrasted with fungicides based on sulfur or copper depending on of the situation. Among the most common parasites we must remember the aphids, which, by sucking the sap, cause the transmission of numerous viruses, and which are usually eradicated with a simple macerate of nettle. Mealybugs are also quite frequent; they attack the leaves, causing them to turn yellow and fall. White mineral oil is recommended as a cure.

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