Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Sweet Peas - Royal Family Mix

I have been trying to grow sweet peas for years. Trying...not succeeding. Every year mildew attacked the plants so they had to be pulled before they even bloomed. This year I finally have some sweet peas!

Stunning, vibrant, and sweet.
This is the Royal Family mix, and what an eccentric family it is! Included are shades from rust to pale pink with various purples and reds.

Grandpa in his 1970's suit.
Grandma (she belongs to the Red Hat Society).
Dapper Dad.
Mom; love personified.
Sweet 16, bright and lively.
Junior, or at least the back of his head. He hates having his photo taken.
Baby of the family.
What a combination of colors. The thing about buying a mix is you don't know what you will get. I may not try this mix again. The rust really throws it off for me, definitely not my favorite. When I think of sweet peas, rust is not in the mix.

The first ones to bloom were all pale pink. They were just gorgeous, so soft and tender. The perfect pink.
In one area there are only pink and red together, a perfect pairing.
That was a bit of good luck. The two look beautiful together.

I think the thing that allowed the sweet peas to fight the mildew was the baking soda solution I sprayed on the plants weekly. One tablespoon of baking soda goes into one gallon of water. I use a pump sprayer and spray the entire plant, taking extra care to get all the leaves at the bottom of the plant, and trying to cover the underneath surface of the leaves as well. This apparently changes the pH on the leaves making the mildew unable to thrive. I started spraying the plants when they were about 5 inches tall, before any signs of mildew appeared. It really worked.

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