London (change)
18/02/2014 at 10:27

Doing mine this week David! Promise!  

18/02/2014 at 10:34


Tracey-Newbie wrote (see)

Thanks David....I still have no greenhouse so I guess it's the windowsill!!  No more room in the garage either 


I'm sure there'll be a sparkling new greenhouse by the time they've germinated, Tracy.

Depending on what part of the country you live, I would guess sowing where they are to flower should take place in about a another month......ground conditions permitting, of course.

18/02/2014 at 10:53

I'm in the North West David, I will probably put them inside this weekend but in a different room than the others where it is cool.

18/02/2014 at 10:59
Tracey-Newbie wrote (see)

I'm in the North West David, I will probably put them inside this weekend but in a different room than the others where it is cool.


Is this your seedlings or seeds you intend to sow, Tracy?

20/02/2014 at 15:30

David, sorry I missed that last post of yours on here.  I have seedlings in the garage at the moment and I have all those seeds from the place you recommended waiting to be sown, I was hoping the GH would be up and was going to put them in there as there is no room in the garage now.

The dining room doesn't get too much sun as it is at the front of the house and north facing, if I turn the radiators off it is quite cool so think I may sow some and put them in there.  The seedling seem happy in the garage at the moment and are growing but slowly.

24/02/2014 at 08:14

doing mine this week whenever can get babysitters tp be here for couple of hours, can i ask a stupid question..i don't need to put crocks in bottom of seed pots do i? can't remember from last year ( i was pregnant so had baby brain.. still have!)

24/02/2014 at 08:21

I hate to tell you Louise but that baby brain never goes....mine are 15 and 12 and there is no sign of it returning to normal 

I don't put crocks in the bottom of seed pots just in the big pots when planting out.

24/02/2014 at 09:07

Louise - Tracy is right, no need to crock seed pots...good luck with them.

25/02/2014 at 08:19

thanks both, 1 more thiong, last year used normal compost general purpose, this have bought seed compost which do you think beat, sorry if all this info is in your posts david, i only get chance to skim read! tracy glad i'm not the only one!

25/02/2014 at 08:55

I bought JI seed compost Louise, never used it before though but they seem to be doing really well.  I'm going to use it for all my seeds this year 

25/02/2014 at 09:15

Hi again, Louise.....yes, I did recommend using John Innes 'seed' compost in the opening post of this thread (and many times since) although any compost specifically produced for sowing seed will do. This  information was given for autumn sown seed as it contains less nutrients than others, hence helps prevent the seedlings making too much growth over winter.

Of course, it's worth noting that if you're sowing your seed now, multi-purpose compost will be just fine, as you will be encouraging growth from now on.

Hope that makes sense!


25/02/2014 at 16:39

yes thanks both, i think i may try half in each and let you know!

25/02/2014 at 17:47

I've always used a standard MPC Louise, with no problems, but I've never sown in autumn, only this time of year or directly outside later on in spring.

David will keep you right - he's the Sweet Pea king here! 


26/02/2014 at 09:36

I've had this on file for yonks, I thought I'd post it so those interested in growing those long stemmed, exhibition quality sweet peas can see how it's done.

"How to grow using the cordon method:

 This is the method favoured by exhibition growers and anyone wanting to grow top quality flowers. It requires more time with a commensurate improvement in blooms. You will find that you will have fewer flowers using this method than growing naturally but they will be of much better quality.

 After planting out leave your plants for around 4 to 6 weeks to settle. After this time, depending on the local weather conditions, they will probably be at least 12 inches (30cm) tall. Restrict the growth to one shoot by cutting or nipping out the extra shoots and tie the remaining shoot loosely to its support. You might want to use metal rings to tie in your plants as these tend to be quickest overall but anything will do. Continue to nip out side shoots which form at every leaf axil, tying in the plant as necessary. You should also remove the twisty tendrils seen at the end of the pairs of leaves which form up the stem. It is rather like growing tomatoes on the cordon. Do not allow flowers to set seed. Most growers cut them as they open which means one stem per plant every day or every other day, depending on weather conditions. Many growers will also nip out the early blooms as they form to further strengthen their plants, doing so until the blooms start to form with four florets per stem or until June.

 Growing on the cordon means that all the plant's energy is concentrated into producing better flowers and growth of the single branch. This means that your plants will soon reach the top of your canes. You will then need to 'layer' them. Do not confuse this with propagation – all this means is to drop your plants down to the bottom of the canes so that they can grow up again. You may need to do this more than once during the season. The easiest way to layer is to undo the ties and gently lay your plants horizontally along the rows. They will naturally turn upwards in a day or two and you can then tie them in to the nearest cane and continue as before. You may choose to tie train them up a cane further along the row straight away. Take care not to snap the plant as they can be very brittle. Choose a warm day and make any bends gradual."


Growing for cut flowers is much easier.


26/02/2014 at 10:06

Excellent post Dave. Shame it can't be saved to my scrapbook. I will just have to print it out. 



26/02/2014 at 10:40
Edd wrote (see)

Excellent post Dave. Shame it can't be saved to my scrapbook. I will just have to print it out. 




You're welcome, Edd...thought it would be totally boring to most, but relevant if this calls itself a sweet pea thread.

26/02/2014 at 11:10

I would just add to my earlier post, the method for growing cut flowers for the house is known as the 'decorative' method.

One thing here to be careful of, is remembering that sweet peas grow to 8ft + tall and therefore provide adequate support to account for this....I've seen silly little obelisks of little more than a metre tall (3' 3") being sold as sweet pea obelisks.

26/02/2014 at 11:23

I used to grow for show Dave and had a big A frame construction with diamond link fencing in between about 8ft tall like you suggested and the full length of the allotment. I have moved now but i do like to keep my hand in.




26/02/2014 at 17:10

Thank you David for  the cordon method info.I tried it about 30 years ago when I had my first garden.I had some success as far as I remember.but I was very inexperienced in the garden then.Since then I haven't had a suitable garden for growing them till a couple of years ago. I had decided I would try it again this year,after using the decorative method [didn't know it was called this] so it couldn't have come at a better time.

Here's a couple of pictures of my plants now.They were sown the first week in December.They;ve been in a cold greenhouse.Do they look ok.



26/02/2014 at 17:33

I have just planted mine from the seeds I collected in October.  This is the first time I have grown from  seed I planted half in seed compost and the other half in general compost and they have both begun to show.   Bit of an experiment but so far so good for both.   Both are on the back bedroom windowsill so getting the rays and heat from the house.   Once they come through do they need the cold then to continue growth.   I do have an unheated GH, so could move them into there.   Any recommendations.