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Wow that is something! Beautiful. It's made me really determined to do it. But I think I have decided that while sp are probably doable, getting gyp to flower in may isn't going to be, so will accept my florist friend's very kind offer of the loan of her trade card to purchase some!

Thank you very much for the offer of guidance, I will certainly be as your other lady was in following your instructions. I am in the fortunate position (I think) of having a sun-trap of a South-facing back garden and a friend's allotment in which to produce my sp. The only thing I don't have immediate access to (but could easily be arranged if you recommend) is a greenhouse/cold frame system.

For now I shall decide which colour theme/varieties I like. Have I missed the boat on having a go this spring?
I will try and arrange to 'inherit' mum's cold frame, and I'm going to have a go in situ this year I think- why not!

So do I plant straight into the ground or into grow tubes with seed compost etc?


I tried sweetpeas for my wedding back in 1995. unfortunately, we got very hot dry weather for a good 6 wks previously. I had a great tan for the day, but my SP couldn't handle it, even with lots of watering. I now know they had powdery mildew, but how I wish I had had the benefit of this forum and David's expertise back then.

Linzy, I think the Gypsophila is easier to grow. It survived that yr when I lost the SP,s. Try it anyway, you canresort to your florist friend after if you have no success. But listen to David. I always thought I was being hard enough on my sp, but have been positively cruel this yr, reading this. They germinated in 18-20*C in prop, then got slung out into GH for 2 days at 2-3C, but were hot in day, so uot to CF for a day a bit cooler, then out altogether. They were started a month ago. Last batch started in unheated conservatory lower daytime temps, but a degree warmer than GH at night. Germinated more slowly, but straight outside once I saw enough were showing shoots. all romping on, am taking notes to see which do best, but I think the later started, colder grown ones already look stronger, if obviously shorter. They should have shorter internodal lengths, I think, which may lead to more flowering shoots eventually, as more potential shoots per length of stem.

I grow tender fuchsias for standard 'trees', and deliberately grow them warm with less light, to get lengthening between the nodes in the first yr. This grows a long 'trunk' quickly, with few nodes that want to flower along the stem. In the second yr, once they have reached the height I want, I keep them much cooler, only frost free, and they grow much shorter shoots then, allowing me to build a very dense, heavily flowering head. I tnink that Davids principles do the same. Having said that, this winter has been so mild that my fuchsias never dropped their leaves, but it was just cold enough that I will struggle to get the long cuttings I need to start new standards from the mother plants, but the established standards will romp away earlier with short growth and early flowering. Indeed, my oldest are flowering already, I had to nip off many buds and 3 full flowers yesterday. The weather could foil your plans, but grow'em hard, as David instructs, and they should be short and strong to start with, but should offer more flowers, than any softly grown ones. I have never grown from an Autumn sowing, axcept for my wedding, the only yr I had a complete failure. But I am entirely sure that that was down to inexperience to some degree, and the weather to a greater degree. They are so easy for beginners most times, and with David's help, you are not a beginner. But follow his instructions to every letter. Soil prep (very important for a timed crop),sowing and planting out times, pest control., picking before the date. Don't allow even one pod to form on a plant.the flowers only last a few days. The more you pick, the more you get. I think David will tell you to remove every single bud on evrey plant until a few days before your big day. Then the plant will be screaming to reproduce, and should throw out flowers left, right, and centre, in a frenzy, hopefully just in time. But I'm not sure you can get enough to make the kind of display David showed you, by your date. If only for table displays mixed with other plants, it depends on how many tables, the size of the vases, the mixer plants to hold them up.  I would grow plenty of complementary plants as well, so that the SP don't have to go so far. remember that the stems are slender with no leaves. It takes a lot to fill a narrow vase alone without fillers of some sort, and they don't last long in oasis. Take into account the amount of arrangements you need to make, and how late you can cut them to be fresh enough. If you are doing your flowers yourself, I would like to bet that you are

Wow thank you, yeah I am planning to bulk out with other 'English country garden' type flowers and the whole theme of the wedding is relaxed, hap hazard rather than perfect Oasis-type arrangements. I intend to research and have florist-bought back up available in case I flop completely. I'd love to do wall-to-wall homegrown sp but to be honest if I manage a few blooms on each table I'll be happy.

I've ordered some seed David, would you suggest mixing dine seed compost through the soil?
'Dine' is the word my stupid phone decided to use instead of 'some'. So you answered the question anyway- yes use some compost (seed or general?). Next year my homegrown compost should be ready.


Erm yeah. (No, I favour the 'plant it and see what happens' variety of shrub growing!)

david should i feed my sp's at all now? if so what? i fed tomato feed last year but once they'd flowered, managing to keep slugs at bay with beer/lager, emptying tins every other day, that makes me cringe i hate them so much, i put them in plastic bag in bin or down drain is this best thing to do?

i dug in general compost this year and last year loads of manure

Hi all, how are your seedlings?

I'm getting ready to sow my trial 'in situ' seeds which arrived today. My other half has (half) dug my trench and I'm collecting some horse manure this afternoon. I've also got some bone fish and blood to mix thru the soil. What else do I need? Carpet to cover the area until they germinate? And slug traps? What would anyone suggest in terms of support- wigwams or canes with wire between?
Thanks for any advice.

hi, i've been following this thread and noting down so many tips.

I havent seen anything (though confess that I could've missed it) on dwarf varieties. I have some on my windowsill and wondering if would still pinch them out when i have two sets of leaves?

Also, i have "regular" full height ones germinating on a windowsill, some germinated with in 14 days others seem to be pushing the 21 day mark (but still coming through). i have potted the ones up that germinated first as they were at the top of my propagators lid (into those biodegradable pots) and put them onto the windowsill. my question is...what now!?! how will i know when they are ready to go outside? i'd say they're not as bushy as David K's but approx 10-15cm. i probably need to pinch out dont i (another worrying mum here)...

any advice appreciated as this is my first attempt at sweetpeas. oh and if it makes any difference, i have cane wigwams in tall pots as i wanted to put them on the patio.


oh no, fundamental mistake! I think I made the assumption that people were growing using a propagator when talking about them .

thanks so much for taking the time to reply

i will start hardening these little fellas up as per your advice and see what happens

This year i'm planning some October sewn ones in a cold frame so it will be very interesting to see the difference