I’ve grown sweet peas many times here in NJ. I’ve been successful starting them indoors and out, but I have found that even if I plant varieties that claim to be perennial, the plants behave like an annual for me and rarely grow a second year.
This year, I soaked the seeds overnight, dug a trench around an already established trellis, and planted all the seeds in the ground. The seeds are covered now, but I have not filled in the trench. As the plants grow, I will gradually cover the bottom of the growth with more soil. This will help the roots stay cool and hopefully give the sweet peas more endurance to withstand New Jersey’s high summer heat and humidity.
Great tips for growing sweet peas can be found in the online version of the Farmer’s Almanac: Growing Sweet Peas
I picked up a pack of chiles for a great price in Aldi this week. They are a great asset to my gardens.
Scattering a few chiles around newly planted seeds might deter a squirrel or chipmunk intent on finding acorns or sunflower seeds.