London (change)
30/10/2013 at 05:57

Thank you david your a gem


30/10/2013 at 09:52
Brumbull wrote (see)

David, hope you don't mind me asking, how long have you been growing and exhibiting sweet peas.


Hi, first show entry was in our local village show in the mid sixties. My first NSPS (National Sweet Pea Society) entry was in the late sixties....I then exhibited regularly for about another 25 years.

I seldom show nationally anymore, but show and judge at a local level.

 My biggest achievement…..a lady from another forum wanted to grow sweet peas for her daughter’s sweet pea themed wedding (bouquets, church & reception bedecked with them)….you get the idea.  

I took her though the process from Sept to June and (to cut a long story short) it was an outstanding success….she even sent me wedding photos.

PS. The bride has just had her first baby.

30/10/2013 at 10:07

You're welcome, Brumbull.....yes, these forums do have a good side.

I mostly grow them as cut flowers these days.

PS, It was The Archers messageboard.....sadly now closed.

31/10/2013 at 08:45

sweetpeas and pots ordered now David so at the weekend I shall be digging my new beds and adding post to the garden to fix the wire netting 

Netting fabric (like greenhouse shade) or the plastic netting the one with square holes that you use for fencing?


31/10/2013 at 09:27

Well done, James. Hope the weather doesn't spoil your plans, there's still plenty of time to prepare the ground.

Keep in touch, re sowing the seed. 

04/11/2013 at 10:15

I'm sowing today after buying JInnings No1 at the weekend 

I hope to dig my trench also this week wish me luck

04/11/2013 at 11:12
CluelessGardener wrote (see)

I'm sowing today after buying JInnings No1 at the weekend 

I hope to dig my trench also this week wish me luck


Oh dear, James....not sure about John Innes No1  John Innes seed compost is what is needed or indeed any other seed compost.

JI No1 has too many nutrients added, which may result in too much over winter growth. If it isn't too late, your JI No1 will always come in handy for potting-on.

Extract from my opening post: "Next you’ll need seed compost (not multipurpose). My own preference is for John Innes seed compost; this is loam based compost although non-loam types are suitable, provided it is specifically for sowing seeds."

In case of mishaps (got the T-shirt) I did suggest in my previous post "Keep in touch, re sowing the seed." 


04/11/2013 at 11:32

not to late silly me

Just looked at bag and yes it's potting on compost I'm going to have to get SEEDING COMPOST no biggy as I have some other plants to pot on this week or should i say today now

Silly me, I just thought No1 was seeding compost my mistake ASSUME ass/u/me





04/11/2013 at 12:32

As me old Dad used to say.... 'one word from me and they do as they like'.

I take it the grow-tubes have arrived from Eagle SPs?

04/11/2013 at 15:07

Yes david as well as my seeds 

Happy Days 

04/11/2013 at 17:30
CluelessGardener wrote (see)

not to late silly me

Just looked at bag and yes it's potting on compost I'm going to have to get SEEDING COMPOST



That will be SEED COMPOST, of course!

03/12/2013 at 17:35

Hello david

just a quick update My sweet peas are all planted up now sow date was 24th November.

I check in on them this weekend but no signs of movement yet I'm thinking 21 to 28 days but it still I can hope LOL

mouse trap is sitting on top of news paper.

do you remove the mouse trap at the same time as the news paper ????

I will follow this post up with a photo tomorrow




03/12/2013 at 19:15

Hi, James, we've quite lucky so far because of no really cold weather, but they will need watching for a while to ensure they do germinate. If there is no sign of them surfacing after 21 days, you may need to think of bringing them indoors until they do.

However, once the seed has germinated straight back outside to the coldframe or cold greenhouse, where they will stand -10C without any problem.

Personally I like cold germinated seedlings, they are always sturdy & go on to do well....on the other hand, those germinated too warm will be soft, weak & leggy and never really make good plants.

Mousetraps - Fortunately I don't get troubled with mice much, although  do set one as a need for them once the seed has popped through as they are only interested in eating the seed itself.


03/12/2013 at 20:59

Thank you David


I will keep my eye on them It's quite warm for this time of the year with little to no wind


04/12/2013 at 11:27


James - Just for your info, I use these mushroom trays (most greengrocers will let you have them for nothing) to hold my sweet pea tubes. When I sow the seed, I place a piece of glass over the top & newspaper over that.

They have stacking legs in each corner which keeps the glass from lying on & damaging the newly planted tubes. Remove the glass & newspaper as soon as they pop through......there they stay until planting-out time, probably March.




04/12/2013 at 11:40

They look fantastic David when did you sow yours

I sat mine in seed trays but filled about 30mm of grit just to keep the air flowing and placed my news paper on top of that. I've been out to the cold frame to today just to check no movement yet (I'm like a little KID with a new toy) LOL

question do you keep the compost damp after they have germinated or wait until it starts to warm up


04/12/2013 at 12:11

Now those were last year's sowings.......this year's are only just surfacing.

Glad you mentioned watering (you may notice mine in the pic look a little dry) because it's something that needs to be done with some care. Never water during very cold weather, otherwise those tiny roots may become encased in a block of ice.

Certainly keep them moist at this time of year, but tail-off when the cold weather arrives.

If in doubt don't water.

04/12/2013 at 12:21

HaHa you had me all excited then David thought they was this years


I will look out for those blue trays next time I'm at the market.


05/12/2013 at 08:26

update photos


05/12/2013 at 09:20

Looking good, James......I would just say they look a tad wet, so not a good idea to water again until those pots have dried out somewhat.

Given the current weather, I would anchor down your cold-frame as much as you can.