Why Grow Sweet Peas From Seeds?
Sweet Peas have always been thought of as a very traditional flower, and Sutton’s are proud to say that we’ve been supplying them to the Royal Household since the reign of Queen Victoria.
Sweet Peas are the archetypical cottage garden flowers and fit in with a loose informal garden, or grow them in pots on patios if space is tight.
Suttons provide a great selection of Sweet Pea seeds. For the balcony sow ‘Fragrant tumbler’ which also are great for ground cover in a border. ‘Distant Horizons’ has mixed pastel colours and supply a steady supply of cut flowers, their long flowering season is exceptional. ‘Prince of Orange’ is an unusual heirloom variety that can be autumn sown and go through the winter.
Growing Sweet Peas From Seed
Grow hardy annuals sown in situ in the spring or they can be raised in root trainers for planting out. Or sown between January and March under glass in gentle heat.
How To Germinate Sweet Pea Seeds
Seeds should germinate within 10-21 days, the seedlings then need to be acclimatised to outside condition before planting out between April and May where the plants should be planted at least 15-20cm apart.
- Use a Cold frame where possible as they like cooler temperatures. Grown in spring for summer flowering or they benefit from being sown in autumn, overwintered for the following year.
- Some gardeners ‘Chit’ their seeds, which means lightly scraping the seed with a knife to encourage germination
- Dig in plenty of organic matter prior to planting. If grown in a container use a good peat-free compost and add slow-release fertiliser like Comfrey pellets.
- Sweet Peas love frequent feeds, starting with seaweed then moving onto a potash fertiliser like tomato feed
- Attentive irrigation is important and keep weed-free, particularly climbing weeds like bindweed
- Pinching out the tips once the sweet pea seedlings get growing, as this will help the plant fill out and deadheading will encourage further flowering. Tying in Sweet Peas to any frame the are growing on will aid their progress.
- Mildews can be a problem with Sweet Peas, pick over or use organic spray deterrent.
Sweet Peas are an outside and inside plant, growing in the garden but also superb for cut flower. Rising up Obelisks and underplanted with bedding such as Petunia makes for a great little design. Just to add to their talents they are also great for Bee life.
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