So! It is TIME! The hopes of a nation are weighing heavy haha!
If you missed the first post about sowing sweet peas you can read it HERE If you haven’t sown any or if yours have failed dismally and you feel you might need back up, I’d just buy some. Just make sure you buy the tall ones and not patio trailing ones. I have no idea what the actual advice would be if you have seeds and still want to plant them but I would always say have a go – you’ll just have them later and longer than me. Mine will be a mouldy mess and yours will be all gorgeous.
Sweet peas, as it turns out, are surprisingly hardy and like to be outside. Mine started off on the windowsill in the utility room and went really leggy really quickly. So I popped them outside on the table by a sheltered wall and to start with I literally babysat them – covered them at night and put them in the sunshine by day. I watered them with Miracle Gro but I have heard that tomato feed is good too.
We don’t have a greenhouse or a cold frame so they overnighted in the home made Home Made Pizza Oven
I nipped out the tops – under strict supervision from Gav’s Mum – although I had a few messages from people saying they never pinch the tops out. Nipping out the tops will encourage bushy growth below so mine needed it. Trial and error and do what works for you.
I think the most asked question I had was what to do if your seedlings are leggy – all I can say is get them outside and as soon as you have a couple of sets of leaves, nip out the growth from the top – see my pics.
My knowledge is entirely taught from Ann, who’s own garden is park like and utterly beautiful. She always has bunch upon bunch of long, straight stemmed sweet peas. If you know a different way or are a professional – happy days! I have no idea if this will work as well as it did last year – maybe it was beginners luck !
I decided to plant them in the same place as last year – if it ain’t broke and all that jazz
It was a bit of a mess
Much better after a weed, and a dig and I added some compost
I found some sweet peas that had self seeded so I was careful not to accidentally pull them up with the weeds (…did I pinch the tops out? Nope. Figured they got this far without my help)
There isn’t a great deal of science or method to how I planted them but I planted a clump at the bottom of each pole. I saw Monty Don do his like this and Ann does it too so I am thinking it’s ok.
I will add some string to help them clamber up as soon as they start really growing but for now, this is the situation
The string was still on here from last year so that’s one less job for this side.
After I planted them I gave them a good water. Last night there was a frost but they were fine – I was up with the lark having a panic but they seem to be ok! Being a professional plants-woman is extremely stressful lol
I had a few spare plants so popped them in a tub with a teepee of bamboo poles for them to grow up.
I did a little Question thingy on Instagram and here are the answers to the most asked questions
How do I get the seeds to germinate ? – soak them for an hour or two in warm water pre planting
What about the frost? – mine have been outside for a few weeks – ideally they’d be in a cold frame, but a sheltered place is fine. They seem to prefer being cool and are hardier than I thought
Do you ever plant in Autumn? – Gav’s Mum does! October in fact
When did you sow them? – March 2nd 🙂
Do I pinch out garden centre bought plants? – I would – but I wouldn’t stress too much over it.
Can I plant them in pots? Yes – they will need more watering. A deeper pot would be better. I am testing growing my spare ones in a tub. I’ll keep you posted. Any comments or hints are very welcome!!
How big do they need to be before I plant them? Mine were like this
DISCLAIMER I am not a gardener – I have no idea what I am doing and am under qualified for writing with any authority – all I can share is what I am doing – if they fail miserably we shall never speak of it again! haha
Last year I threw them in (Ann gave me the plants – this is my first time growing from seed) and expected nothing but they were a triumph!
If any proper gardeners are here- all comments are welcome! We can all help each other
And we shall be triumphant with sinks full of flaars !
Thanks for popping by!
Good luck with yours! Tag me in your posts as I’d love to see. I’ll nip over and take some photos of the set up over at Gav’s Mums and keep you posted on hers too. I know hers will be off the chart!