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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.
David K

Linzy - No need for carpet. Horse manure (hope it is well rotted) & blood, fish 'n bone will be fine, just bonemeal on its own would have been enough.'s really a matter of personal choice. Some like wigwams made from canes or hazel poles, others use pea-nets suspended between stout posts, or maybe twiggy branches....whatever you choose, remember they will grow to a least 6/7ft tall.


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.

David K

Hi, goes.

1) I wouldn't advise sweet peas being in a propagator at any time.

2) Dwarf (hanging basket) varieties don't need pinching out.

3) Best results are from seed sown in deep pots, where they should remain until being planted out...hence avoiding root disturbance (which they don't like) when potting-on.

4) It would seem that yours may be a little soft from over protection, so for a week put them outside during the day & bring them back indoors at night......then plant them out where they are to flower. Before that pinch-out the growing tips of those 10-15cm ones.

Not sure if you spotted on previous pages, but I did say that germination usually takes between 7 to 21 you seen to be on course for that, although it can take longer depending on temperatures.


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


David K

Don't worry about it, Snowdrop....nothing you have done is irretrievable.

I would say, successful growing of sweet peas is as difficult as we care to make it.

Orchid Lady

Hi Snowdrop, I have learned so much from this thread and David.  My key words to remember are DON'T MOLLYCODDLE  Apparently this is what ladies like to do, must be the mothering instinct (I'm presuming you are a lady, sorry!).  

I planted my seedlings out several weeks ago, some I 'forgot' about and yes I have lost a couple, not to slugs but to some form of wildlife trampling on them, but the rest (4!) are lovely and bushing out well.  The ones I have been caring for more are a bit more straggly although still starting to bush out!!

I have bought some seeds on David's recommendation, I am going to sow some and save the rest for Autumn sowings, I've never done that before but will be trying this year now I have expert advice.

In the next few days I will be sowing my direct ones, I am going to sow, put the poles in and leave 

Thanks David, yep horse manure is from Sept and doesn't smell at all which I believe is the test. Getting close to being ready to go now.
David K

 Good luck with them.


oh, so its still not too late to sew directly out? even in pots? maybe i'll try that.  i'm soooo tempted to go and buy plugs as i'm desperate for a beautiful flowers this year but i think the satisfaction will be so much higher if I grow from seed.

Orchard Lady, indeed I am a female (mum of 2 toddlers) so i think i'm just used to things being dependent on me and not used to the independence of sweetpeas  .

maybe i'll go and buy some bonemeal, prepare some soil and sew a fresh batch and hope for the best. I had a look at the Eagles website that i think David K recommended and was going to purchase to sew in autumn like you.


Orchid Lady

That's exactly the point David was making. I think Snowdrop LOL.  I am a of mum of 2 boys but not toddlers (unfortunately!) they are 15 and almost 13

Eagles is where I got mine from. I think it may be getting a bit late but I'm still going to sow some, it's not as late as last year for me as I thought you had to wait until after frost (ie end of May), it's no wonder they were rubbish!!

David K

No wonder I have patience, no wonder do I want you people to succeed.....I could get drunk on your enthusiasm.

Believe me, I do appreciate how confusing it must be when some plants need TLC (frost tender etc) and others (like sweet peas) can be ruined by it.


Steve 309

I got back from a fortnight away and found young plants in the pots where I'd sown the sweet peas.  I've pinched them out and am now hardening them off before planting out next week.  Thanks for your help David and others.

I MUST remember to sow them in the autumn!

Wigwams created, seeds sown, fingers crossed. Was going to post a pic but can't figure out how to do it?


Steve 309

Click on the second icon in from the right, just above here       ^

Steve 309

...or in fact below here....                                                       V

Steve 309

Grrrr!!!  You can see the one I mean!

David K

Good luck with them, post a pic: 1) click on the little green tree, on the taskbar 2) click 'select' in the 'select files to be uploaded' 3) choose your pic from your pc 3) then click 'upload'...(it can sometimes take a little while) then click 'save' when it has uploaded.

David K

 Like so.

Btw, those are hanging basket sweet peas called 'Cupid White'.