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11/03/2014 at 10:45
Busy-Lizzie wrote (see)

Wow! David! Half mine haven't germinated, did all that I should have done according to advice. They were going straggly on a windowsill in a cool room, now are in a cold frame. I used loo roll middles which are starting to fall apart. Silly me! They are bio-degradable ones!

 

Going back to basics, mine are never indoors at any time, they are just too hardy and react by romping away.

I just sow the seed in late October/early November in a cold greenhouse. As soon as the seed has germinated, then they go into a cold-frame.....even the lid isn't closed unless very extreme frosts are expected and there they stay until planting out time.

On reflection, I'm beginning to wonder if either sowing as above, or just sowing the seed in situ would be best.  

I know this works, but if anyone feels like trying an experiment, try sowing the seed where they are to flower in the autumn. The main setback with this is protecting from slugs & snails and probably birds.

Frost & snow will never be a problem.

11/03/2014 at 11:53

I'm always worried about sowing in the autumn, never managed broad beans. Here in Dordogne the winters are usually colder than in the UK. -10° is quite normal, and we have snow. No protection from the gulf stream! The winter we've just had has been much milder than usual and very wet.

11/03/2014 at 13:26

That's a fair point, Lizzie.....TBH, I've never succeeded with overwintering broad beans either. I put this down to my heavy cold/clay soil.

11/03/2014 at 13:27

Right, I am going to be brave, stop playing at 'mummy' with them and get them in the ground......tough love  

11/03/2014 at 14:41

My sweet peas are in their new 'homes' and no longer look sad 

Another question David, possibly a silly one.  I know sweet peas like to be supported, usually by trellis or net or an obelisk or something, but would they grow up a hedge (ie a privet hedge).  I was wondering whether to sow some of my seeds against the hedge, there is chicken wire at the bottom which stops the dogs getting through so something to attach to initially, but then would they entwine around the privet?  Just a thought I had whilst in the garden 

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/39326.jpg?width=276&height=350&mode=max

 

11/03/2014 at 16:54

Mine haven't all germinated, but most of them have - they've gone outside into the mini-greenhouse/coldframe - they really weren't getting enough light even by the big studio window and they were becoming etiolated (love that word) and apart from that they were in danger of being painted 

11/03/2014 at 16:59

I have a question - do you pinch out the growing tip of Dwarf Sweet Peas after two pairs of leaves have formed to promote bushiness or just leave the main stem to grow on?  Many thanks.

11/03/2014 at 17:08

Tracy - Yes, they will grow up your privet hedge okay, but I rather wonder if it will be a problem at trimming time.

Btw, those you have just planted out, put a few small twigs around them to give support.

Sounds like yours are on the right track, Dove.

Malcolm - No need for nipping out the tops of those dwarf type. 

11/03/2014 at 18:38

It's going to be trimmed at weekend David and then should be ok until Autumn, well it will have to be ok  Thank you 

11/03/2014 at 20:56
Tracey-Newbie wrote (see)

It's going to be trimmed at weekend David and then should be ok until Autumn, well it will have to be ok  Thank you 

 

Good luck with it, Tracy....but remember, your going to have a helluv of an untangling job in the autumn.

11/03/2014 at 21:57

Won't they cut get cut off with the hedge when it's cut?

11/03/2014 at 22:12

No Lizzie because the hedge will get cut at weekend and then have to wait until Autumn  I'm still thinking about it, I just though it might save some money buying an obelisk or something! I have got some bamboo canes though so may just use them! but that's the bed where they are going anyway as it has the best soil 

11/03/2014 at 22:27

Love those beds, Tracey. 

I have not yet sown all of my SPs yet, all waiting their turn in the propagator.In there, they come well up within a wk, then get chucked straight into coldframe as soon as half have poked up shoots. CF open all day. Could I put them straight outside after germination, David, as space getting tight now?

11/03/2014 at 23:00
GJ, I have more to sow yet from David's recommendation but am in a dilemma where they are going to grow! but they will get sown outside and stay outside as no CF......hmm my smileys have gone again! ((Funny puzzled face))
12/03/2014 at 08:54

Tracy - I'm not really sure about your plans to grow your SPs up the privet hedge. They are very robust and would most likely grow over the hedge and down the other side.....I'm not sure how this will fit in with cutting them & routine maintenance.

I would try to offer them some other type of support. 

12/03/2014 at 08:59
gardenjeannie wrote (see)

I have not yet sown all of my SPs yet, all waiting their turn in the propagator.In there, they come well up within a wk, then get chucked straight into coldframe as soon as half have poked up shoots. CF open all day. Could I put them straight outside after germination, David, as space getting tight now?

Oh dear....not sure about germinating SP seed in a propagator. If it were me, I would just sow the seed where they are to flower.

12/03/2014 at 09:16

tracey i got some nice willow beanstalks cheapish at b ad q, my main problem last year was i didn't support them well enough, used bamboo canes, they were too short and mid august they collapsed,mentioned in another thread i put them outside yesterday only half germinated, interestingly the ones in general purpose compost haven't germinated yet..so maybe i did an unintentional experiment! put in plastic storage boxes andput lids on overnight to protect from mice, though have 3 cats visit garden, hope they put them off too, i bought that mini greenhouse, can't believe haven't managed to unpack and out up, have so little time time can't get round to cutting all parcel tape and plastic off... need to prioritise so pther things come 1st..!

13/03/2014 at 11:24

Hi David, the weather here is lovely at the moment 13c day 6c at night but predicted to drop next week to 7c day and -2 night. I'm itching to direct sow some sweet peas , is it too early?

13/03/2014 at 11:38
Busy-Lizzie wrote (see)

I'm always worried about sowing in the autumn, never managed broad beans. Here in Dordogne the winters are usually colder than in the UK. -10° is quite normal, and we have snow. No protection from the gulf stream! The winter we've just had has been much milder than usual and very wet.

Have you tried Aquadulce Claudia broad beans?  Specially bred for autumn sowing (outdoors) and reputedly very hardy.  They did alright in the winter before last (which was pretty cold) and extremely well  - they're now a foot high - in the one just gone, which was mild.  You might try fleece or cloches to keep the worst of the weather off if it's really cold.  Worth it for the early crop I think.

13/03/2014 at 15:44
Ashleigh 2 wrote (see)

Hi David, the weather here is lovely at the moment 13c day 6c at night but predicted to drop next week to 7c day and -2 night. I'm itching to direct sow some sweet peas , is it too early?

Ashleigh - Before answering this, I decided to take a soil temperature reading in  my own garden (the Midlands) and it seems to be around 50f (10c) at the mo. *This would be fine for sowing SP seed...if they were to be sown in pots of compost, even more okay.

*Expect seed to surface after 2 or 3 weeks in these conditions.