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David K

Latest posts by David K

Growing Sweet Peas

Posted: 26/02/2014 at 22:42

Now, my memory is quite good (photographic? ) which prompts me to remind you that I've already said on this forum that I was 'an unskilled labourer's assistant'.  

Rose and clematis combination

Posted: 26/02/2014 at 21:38

I have this climbing rose & clematis combo..... sadly I can't recall the rose's name. The clematis is Perle d'Azur.


Growing Sweet Peas

Posted: 26/02/2014 at 19:57
Tracey-Newbie wrote (see)

I've planted them in quite deep paper pots I made and now you've mentioned it I do remember the root disturbance bit and that is why I put them in paper pots to start with!!!  Feel a tiny but stupid now -  sorry to be a bit dim, I've obviously spent far too long in the sun this afternoon and my brain isn't used to it 


Tracy, please be assured in some instances my patience is infinite....and this just happens to be one of don't worry!

Growing Sweet Peas

Posted: 26/02/2014 at 19:38

"David when do the seedlings need to be repotted to bigger pots?"

The idea is to sow the seed in pots deep enough for them to stay in until they are planted out.....that's certainly how it is if you're using those black polythene tubes from Eagle SPs.

Perhaps worth noting here, that sweet pea seedlings don't like root disturbance.


Growing Sweet Peas

Posted: 26/02/2014 at 19:20

Susan - I must have said several times since the start of this thread that sweet peas are really hardy (that's why they are designated (HA) Hardy Annuals and just need a little germination warmth before being transferred to cool your plan is sensible.

Lizzie - 7 to 21 days is normally the time it takes for SP seed to germinate, so I would guess yours are doing okay.....In my experience, those geminating in 7 days have been kept too warm and will most likely be leggy. Those germinating in 21 (or more) make for much stronger plants.

I agree, incorrect use of the terms 'planting' & 'sowing' does lead to confusion, but that applies to other threads too.....hope I haven't been guilty.

Growing Sweet Peas

Posted: 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.

Growing Sweet Peas

Posted: 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.

Growing Sweet Peas

Posted: 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.


What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 26/02/2014 at 09:29

More sunshine again here in the Midlands.....soon be needing rain the settle the dust!

I'll get me coat! 

Swiss Chard

Posted: 26/02/2014 at 09:16

Morning, Jad.....I've done this and it does work. Sow one seed per cell, which will produce 3-5 seedlings (much like beetroot) then thin out to one seedling per cell.

Good luck.

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