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25/06/2012 at 23:22

David - I hadn't been able to get 6X at my local GC until this year.  When I lived in Hertfordshire, I could get it from a number of local GCs, but down here it hasn't been readily available.  But I  always found it to be superb - all the plants benefit from it being mixed in with potting compost, for example, in pots and troughs.  And I knew a gardener who shoved a couple of handfuls into the foot of an old stocking and soaked it in water to make a liquid feed.  Haven't tried that (yet )  It would certainly be more "perfumed" than the SPs )  It may be pricey - but a little goes a long way.

26/06/2012 at 09:40
Shrinking Violet wrote (see)

David - I hadn't been able to get 6X at my local GC until this year.  When I lived in Hertfordshire, I could get it from a number of local GCs, but down here it hasn't been readily available.  But I  always found it to be superb - all the plants benefit from it being mixed in with potting compost, for example, in pots and troughs.   And I knew a gardener who shoved a couple of handfuls into the foot of an old stocking and soaked it in water to make a liquid feed. Haven't tried that (yet )  It would certainly be more "perfumed" than the SPs )  It may be pricey - but a little goes a long way.

SV - I've recommended 6X so many times on these boards. It really is excellent stuff!

Regarding availability, it can be bought directly online of course.

"And I knew a gardener who shoved a couple of handfuls into the foot of an old stocking and soaked it in water to make a liquid feed"

 Well as it happens, many of the old sweet pea  growers who grow them for exhibition, collect sheep droppings from the field, put them in a hessian sack & dunk them in a tank of water (rather the same principle as tea bags) And the similarity dosen't end there, it is ready for use (about a week) when the liquid is the colour of tea.


 

28/06/2012 at 08:53

Hi David,

I've just read your answer to the post on the other thread - I'm not sure if I have the same problem. I've got 3 sweet pea wigwams in different parts of the garden, but on one of them in particular, some of the plants are turning yellow and crispy, whilst the rest on the same wigwam are flourishing. I did spot what looked like an insect (like a tiny round ball) on one of the sickly ones, but not on the others. I'm in northern Spain, so we haven't had the recent wet weather you've been having in the UK. I've given them a good watering twice a week, and they get plenty of sun. 

Any ideas?

 

28/06/2012 at 09:25

Hi, Lorea

As you suggest, I don't think over-watering will be your problem, in fact the conditions seem ideal. Here in the UK sweet peas don't have many insect enemies, but I'm not really familiar of what you have in N Spain.

In view of the fact that your other 2 wigwams are flourishing, I'm inclined to think that there maybe something lacking in the soil.

Try a feeding with a foliar feed of liquid seaweed (hope this is available where you are) this is best used as a tonic and not a regular feed and should be discontinued after they perk up.

Other outside and unlikely causes could be: Pea mosaic virus, powdery mildew, root rot, or herbicide spray drift.

28/06/2012 at 11:00

Thanks for that David, I was thinking the same thing about the soil, but one of the other wigwams which is doing well is only about 2 feet away from it. 

08/07/2012 at 10:10

As this thread is now slipping off the first page & questions seem to pop up in other places....I'm giving it a little bump.

 

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c186/DavidKnapper/sweetpea.jpg

 

08/07/2012 at 16:17
Wow just lovely.
08/07/2012 at 17:36

I have always grown sweet peas but am in a new garden (well was a bit of a field last year which we are slowly bringing back to cultivation) which is on heavy clay and floods at the first sign of rain of which we have had a lot up here in Carlisle. Still I have 3 lots of sweet peas on the go. One batch sown in pots and planted out about 5 weeks ago another straight into the ground which looked so unwilling to go that I planted climbing beans in between them and a few spares I put in an old plastic box. All seem to be going well and in fact the ones sown straight into the ground soon caught up with and overtook the earlier pot ones and are now flowering in amongst some reluctant bean plants. I had my first vase of flowers yesterday. I use feed made from either comfrey or dandilions whichever is growing at the time. Both seem to really get things going. So far the waterlogged soil does not seem to have harmed the plants although I have notices that a lot of the flower stems are a little shorter this year.

08/07/2012 at 21:08
frensclan wrote (see)

I have always grown sweet peas but am in a new garden (well was a bit of a field last year which we are slowly bringing back to cultivation) which is on heavy clay and floods at the first sign of rain of which we have had a lot up here in Carlisle. Still I have 3 lots of sweet peas on the go. One batch sown in pots and planted out about 5 weeks ago another straight into the ground which looked so unwilling to go that I planted climbing beans in between them and a few spares I put in an old plastic box. All seem to be going well and in fact the ones sown straight into the ground soon caught up with and overtook the earlier pot ones and are now flowering in amongst some reluctant bean plants. I had my first vase of flowers yesterday. I use feed made from either comfrey or dandilions whichever is growing at the time. Both seem to really get things going. So far the waterlogged soil does not seem to have harmed the plants although I have notices that a lot of the flower stems are a little shorter this year.

 

Hi, Frensclan - given this year's atrocious weather, I would say you have done really well.

 

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c186/DavidKnapper/SPWinner.jpg

 

08/07/2012 at 21:13

Mine are about 3 - 4 foot high, should be 6 foot by now,  very strong and healthy looking but very late due to darkness and wet.  I'll just leave them alone and see - if we get some late summer we may still get sweet peas, who knows yet!

08/07/2012 at 21:23

Bookertoo - I think it has been one of the worst years I can remember for SPs.

I was talking to my friend and owner of Eagle Sweet Peas, Derek Heathcote just a week or so ago and he said that he had struggled to find enough blooms this year to show at Chelsea and the other shows.

He did however still win a gold at Chelsea.

09/07/2012 at 09:47

David K:  this is a really good thread and it's good to be able to pick your brains

Can you tell us the name of that absolutely stunning deep pink in the photo?  Would love to see other photos and also photos from everyone else to see the amazing range of sweet peas. 

Torrential rain here in Central Scotland and although mine are stretching out now to nice long stems with  buds only beginning to colour-up - but with continuing rain it doesn't look as if they're going to have much of a chance to put on a show.

09/07/2012 at 10:14

Hello, Yarrow....I agree, I'd love to see other people's pics.

 Maybe my photography is lacking, but the above is listed as 'scarlet', the name being 'Winner'.

This is 'Geoff Hughes (Onslow, actor from 'Keeping up appearances' etc) orange stripe: [Remember to click on the pic for the full benefit]

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c186/DavidKnapper/Eagle%20Sweet%20Peas/P8060011.jpg

 


 

PS. I think 'Winner' has now been superseded with 'Fields of fire'.

 

 

10/07/2012 at 02:51

Thanks for the names David.  They really are stunning - and it's lovely to see fresh vibrant blooms which haven't been ruined with rain. 

It's torrential here and there are greenfly absolutely everywhere on the buds.  It's a slippery paddle to get to them at the moment.

Can I ask how you support  yours - cordon or other?  You have probably gone over this on this forum already so apologies if I'm covering old ground.  I have never mastered supporting them well.  In this small garden I have about an 8foot length of a very thin section at the back  of a  border so have only room for 8 8ft high canes.  All I've ever done (other than an obelisk in a big wooden tub with sweet peas) is have the canes upright supported by horizontal wiring to keep them straight with two substantial wooden pillars either side sunk into the ground to keep them all taught.  I plant 2 sweet peas at the foot of each cane and just let them climb straight up.  I have to keep removing the tendrils every few days otherwise they get very tangled and it gets messy.  I have substantial (but thin) wire netting attached across these canes and I tie them in (every few days at the moment) with plant ties which hold well but allow a little expansion.

I'm not sure how to explain what advice I'm asking for here..  Basically, they always grow up the canes really well and bloom very high.  But when I see lovely sweet peas on tv or in people's photographs, they seem to really bush out even forward away from the canes (don't know how to describe this) and look lovely and natural.  The way I do mine they just shoot up the canes like stiff soldiers and it's all leaves and stalks until very high - and then that's it. 

I'm thinking that I maybe ought to plant more than 2 at the foot of each cane or do it some other way to achieve the lovely 'look' that others seem to get.  Or - maybe I just don't prepare the soil well enough or feed them correctly to produce a better abundance of blooms other than right at the top.

I wish I'd been more attentive of gardening when I was a child and my dad used to produce lovely Sweet Peas - but by that time it was the 70's and teenage years and the attention span for such things was far too short!

Sorry for such long and tedious posts everyone.  Yawn at leisure

 

10/07/2012 at 10:27

Well, Yarrow...first of all I must make it clear that not all the pics I post here are taken during the current season (the above were taken last year) and not all are of my own sweet peas, as I do take some around the shows.

As for supporting them. There are two basic methods; 'decorative' & 'cordon', each are supported in different ways.

The 'Cordon' method is the method used by show growers to grow those long stemmed exhibition blooms. This is quite labour intensive and I intended to perhaps explain it in our autumn thread....although I will say the plants grown this way are supported with canes.

The 'decorative' method is the most widely used and is used to grow cut flowers for the house. This involves growing up hazel sticks, or nets suspended between canes or poles. I prefer hazel and am lucky to have a good supply on my own property.

Show sweet peas:

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c186/DavidKnapper/Wem/P7180009.jpg

 

 

 

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c186/DavidKnapper/Wem/P7180022.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

10/07/2012 at 14:56

Thanks David.  I don't mind which year the blooms are from.  It's a real help to see photos and 'names' to get ideas for colour combinations.  It's much clearer than depending on the seed packet photographs where the bane of the photographer is often demonstrated i.e. it's difficult to get a photograph of the true colour when the pics have been printed.

I'm determined to make a real go of Sweet Peas next year so will be thinking of planning colours and type, paying more attention to ground preparation from the end of this year and starting my seeds off this autumn as opposed to next spring.   With that in mind, I will look forward with particular interest to your intention to kick things off here on a forum thread in the autumn.  I think it will be a timely popular discussion and support to many of us who want to improve our techniques and results.

10/07/2012 at 15:04

You're welcome, Yarrow.

Yes, matching and choosing colours adds a new dimension. Not sure if I've shown this pic here, but it is a vase of the aforementioned 'Winner' (red) & 'Just Jenny' (purple)...look rather good together I thought:

 

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c186/DavidKnapper/DSCN0725.jpg

 

 

02/08/2012 at 20:15

I popped into the garden this morning and look what I found.

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/10537.jpg?width=393&height=263&mode=max

 My first ever flowers, thanks for all the help.

 

 

02/08/2012 at 20:23

Well, congratulations..and nice long, straight stems too.

02/08/2012 at 20:30

No congratulations to you too, Im sure without your advice this photo wouldn't be here.

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