Sowing Sweet peas.
- The best results from sweet peas come from seedlings sown in October under a cold frame. You can also sow in early spring; however, these will flower later and will be more susceptible to mildew later in the season.
- To help germination you can chip away at the hard outer skin of sweet pea seed. However, this is not necessary.
- It is important to avoid seeds getting waterlogged as they are prone to rotting.
Sweet Pea Tubes.
The roots of sweet peas grow deep, therefore, when sowing use deep pots (they don’t need to be wide)
Sweet Peas are hardy, and can survive frosts; however, if grown in a cold frame they need to be hardened off before planting out. Sweet peas can also be sown directly
When planting out, it doesn’t matter so much if the soil around the roots comes away. The important thing is to water them in well.
Feeding Sweet Peas.
Sweet Peas like a rich well fertilised soil. During flowering time, the addition of tomato food, will help prolong the blooms.
Pinching Out Sweet Peas.
A useful tip for growing sweet peas, is to pinch out the first shoot. This is because sweet peas flower from additional shoots. To get the strongest sweet pea plants, it is important to concentrate all the energy’s on a single shoot.
Layering Sweet Peas.
If you are growing sweet peas for show. Plant them out in rows of 10-12 with stout canes. When the one single shoot has grown higher than the cane, you can untie them and allow them to spread out on the soil before allowing to grow up another cane, this means they can grow much taller than the canes but still be supported.
Once a sweet pea starts to flower, it is important to pick the flowers before they start to set seed. Once they set seed they will tend to stop flowering. At least there will be no difficulty in using the sweet pea flowers.
Water Well and Mulch.
Sweet Peas benefit from being well watered and mulch. As with many other plants, it is best to give a good soaking every now and then rather than feeble daily watering.
Sown at the end of September these seedlings have germinated well.
They have been sown from seeds collected off this years plants by my Brother in Law. I guess they will be fairly true to the colours of the plants from which he collected them. That is why the colour has been written on the paper label at the front.
The tip of the plant will be pinched out before they stop growing for Autumn to encourage branching. The extra haulms created after ‘pinching out’ seem to bear more flowers than the single cordon sweetpeas. The plants will then be left in a cold greenhouse to protect from the worst winter but they should also survive outside. Care needs to be taken to keep mice away from the young flesh.