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Sweet Peas 2021….

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  • Sweet Peas 2021….

    Are you sowing Sweet Pea seeds now and over-wintering or do you sow them in the Spring? I’m told they grow stronger, flower earlier and with greater energy if sown now, nipped out, overwintered and talked to nicely over Christmas, is that correct?
    Mine were ok again this year, endless supply (daily routine!) but I don’t think they thought much of some of the weather this Summer… I’ve taken them out now, they were getting tangled and mildewy. Some questions with next year in mind:
    1. Do you save seeds (do they ‘explode’ to disseminate? Do they need a cold snap?)
    2. Do you sow now/soon or in Spring?
    3. My stems were very short this year, is that a result of overcrowding or species determined? Any solutions to that problem?
    4. Do you prune off the tendrils?
    5. The heady perfumes of yesteryear seem to be a thing of the past (though my younger brother who works with the elderly insists it’s my nose that’s at fault rather than the Sweet Peas….). Any recommendations?
    Thank you…. bb.
    .

  • #2
    ... and talked to nicely ove Christmas... hehehe

    I had no idea you could overwinter sweet peas - maybe that's m chance - I've failed miserably with them the last few years
    Shortie

    "There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children; one of these is roots, the other wings" - Hodding Carter

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Shortie View Post
      ... and talked to nicely ove Christmas... hehehe

      I had no idea you could overwinter sweet peas - maybe that's m chance - I've failed miserably with them the last few years
      Sweet Peas are tough, Shortie, like their namesake Peas.... they might need some protection if you're in a really cold area (I'm in the Midlands UK, most folk round here seem to plant in Autumn). A cold frame or unheated greenhouse probably adequate. Mine were ok this year but could be better, thus the questions..... Some folk seem to keep them going until October, I gave up in August! bb
      .

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      • #4
        I planted in the autumn and seemed to work well. They sulked a bit when I first put them outside. Don’t think they liked the dry weather. Some were from saved seed from the previous year and those germinated pretty well. Have saved some this year too from the ones I liked. I love the fragrance of sweet peas and took loads into the house. They didn’t last long inside but the smell was lovely. I trim off some tendrils but grow them up wooden pyramids and they usually get completely tangled and wild, which I like so I don’t bother with the tendrils after that just make sure I cut the flowers regularly and cut off developing seed heads. I don’t know how to grow long stemmed flowers mine aren’t very long.

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        • #5
          I find the first flush of flowers have lovely long stems, then as the season progresses, they get shorter. From what I've read, that's because I let the plants grow sideshoots as they please, and the sideshoots produce shorter stemmed flowers.

          Professional growers remove the tendrils and the sideshoots, in the same way we take out tomato armpits, so that there is only one strong stem bearing flowers on each plant.

          And sweet peas are hungry plants. This year I grew them as I do runner beans, over a trench filled with compost and peelings etc. There were many more flowers, and bigger too.
          Location - Leicestershire - Chisit-land
          Endless wonder.

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          • #6
            Sowing sweet peas in the Autumn is a good idea - I usually grow them in trays to begin with then plant out when the ground warms up in late March. to do well sweet peas like to grow deep roots so thy can get plenty of moisture when the weather is drier and warmer.

            Varieties do differ but it is still possible to get what I would call ordinary ones which have a lovely perfume. I often save my own seed, and in fact if I have a sort through my many old envelops I reckon I should be able to find some from last year to sow. :-)
            Last edited by nickdub; 03-09-2020, 11:26 AM.

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            • #7
              I’m going to give autumn sowing a go using this years seeds that are drying on the plants. I’ll use modules rather than my usual loo rolls I don’t think rolls will hold up to well overwinter.
              Do they need to be kept in my GH. Or are they fine outside?
              Location....East Midlands.

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              • #8
                As long as the plants are a good size they are fine outside over winter - I've had frost and snow on them before now, and they grew on later no problem.

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                • #9
                  I didn't grow any this year, but intend to next year, I have sown them in the greenhouse border in the spring and got a good early crop, but they did take over a lot of space in there and were outed to make way for tomatoes. I intend to start them under glass in root trainers early next year and then pot them on in pots before planting out later, I will try the removal of side shoots and tendrils and see what happens.
                  If I'm not on here, I'm probably fishing.
                  Gardening in the NE of Scotland

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for all the comments and suggestions, I've sown some in root-trainers and they've just broken surface (very cheering on what feels like the first day of winter... ). I protected them and will continue to do so for a week or two - nothing more than a clear plastic propagator lid - because last year a mouse tried to excavate the seeds (even after they'd germinated, which surprised me a bit) and in so doing destroyed several.... Anyone else have that problem? I assume as the seeds germinate they (much like the standard garden pea) give off a scent that attracts mice?
                    This year/next year I'll try like Burnie to remove side shoots (rather than encourage them which seems to be the general advice to make them bushier), give them a bit more space, and see if that results in longer individual stems. bb.
                    .

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                    • #11
                      Yep mice are a pia with pea seeds - when I used to direct sow garden peas I used to keep prickly hedge trimmings like hawthorn back, and chop them up in the pea trench to discourage the mice from digging up the soil.
                      Last edited by nickdub; 24-09-2020, 08:19 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Just seen the first of the sweet peas I sowed poking through. How exciting.

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                        • #13
                          Don't worry if your sweet pea seedlings are slow to get larger, that is normal at this time of year. Give them as much light as possible and don't worry about trying to keep them warm. Water obviously if the soil/compost gets dry, but otherwise just leave them to get on with it. What you are looking for is strong stocky plants with plenty of leaves around 8" high to put in their final positions next March or April.

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                          • #14
                            My sweet peas are growing a bit more than I expected. Some are now 10cm tall so thinking I should nip them out before they get a bit straggly. I know I nipped the tops last year just can’t remember how tall they should be before I do it.

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                            • #15
                              I try and remember to sow some in Autumn. The only problem is that they tend to finish early so I also try and remember to plant more in Spring to follow on. My strongest, best sweet peas ever came up on their own a couple of years ago. Obviously I'm not the tidiest gardener and they just self seeded.
                              As for removing side shoots and tendrils.......no chance. I just let them grow.
                              Last edited by greenishfing; 24-10-2020, 11:44 AM.

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