Food & Drink Magazine

Sweet Peas: A Guide to Sowing Seeds & Buying Plants

By Angela @daisyangel1
Sweet Peas are an annual plant, which means the plant will only last the year it is grown. Seeds planted in March that grow and flower during the Summer/early Autumn will die once the first frosts of Autumn arrive.
Sweet Peas:  A Guide to Sowing Seeds & Buying PlantsNow is the time to buy and sow your sweet pea seeds. I have put together some handy tips based on how I sow and grow my Sweet Peas from seed, to help any novice gardeners.
Sow Your Own or Buy Your Plants Ready for Planting
Sowing Sweet Pea Seeds 
There are many tips for encouraging Sweet Pea seeds to germinate. You can of course just sow them straight away into your pot of compost. However I prefer to nick the outer shell of each seed with a knife, although in the past I have soaked my seeds overnight in water.  Add potting compost to a 9cm diameter pot. Using a pencil or dibber make a hole in the soil about an inch deep, drop your seed in and cover with compost. I sow 3 seeds in a 9cm diameter pot.
Sowing Option One
From late March you can order your chosen Sweet Peas seeds online or from a garden center. There is a huge selection of Sweet Pea plants to choose from. There is wide range of colours, some will be highly scented, some with the characteristic for a show standard Sweet Pea. Once the plants have 4-5 leaves pinch them out at the stem, this will encourage side shots and a stronger plant. Plant out into the garden after the final frost of the spring.Sweet Peas:  A Guide to Sowing Seeds & Buying PlantsSowing Option Two
If you like to plan ahead for your garden and have a greenhouse you can sow Sweet Peas in October and November. They should germinate with a few weeks, and will grow slowly during Winter in an unheated greenhouse, but you will need to protect them from harsh Winter weather. I cover mine with fleece, but there is still an element of luck. A few years ago we had an extreme winter and I lost all of my Sweet Pea seedlings, along with many other plants. But if the winter is a mild one, come summer you will have plants that have a head start on those sown in March.

Buying Sweet Pea Plants

You can buy Sweet Pea plug plants from online plant sellers, such as Thompson & Morgan now. By ordering them now you are ensuring you get the variety you want, the first plants will be dispatched at the end of April. These will arrive in the form of a plug plant, and can be potted on but will need to be kept frost free, such as keeping them in a greenhouse.

If you buy your plug plants a little later in May the Sweet Pea plants can be planted directly into your garden, providing there is no risk of frost.

Sweet Peas:  A Guide to Sowing Seeds & Buying Plants

Planting Out Your Sweet Pea Plants
Grow your sweet Pea plants up a wigwam made from garden canes, or buy an ornate garden obelisk. Plant one or two Sweet Pea plants per cane, tying them in as they grow.  You should have a wonderful display of flowers for the summer and early autumn, be sure to keep picking the flowers to encourage more flowers. Remove any seed pods,  if these are allowed to grow they will divert the plants energy into setting seeds and not flowers.Post contains affiliate links. I will receive a small commission should you purchase your seeds or plants using my link.

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