Sow sweet peas now

You’ll get gorgeous blooms earlier next year.

Sow sweet peas - step 3.jpg

There’s nothing nicer than being able to pick bunches of fragrant sweet peas from the garden to have in the house through the summer months. They are a delightful flower and easy to grow in the garden.

The seeds of sweet peas can be sown in autumn, at this time of the year, or in spring. The advantage of autumn sowing is the plants will start to flower a few weeks earlier next summer than spring-raised plants. Sowing now produces strong seedlings that can be over-wintered in a cold greenhouse or frame ready for planting out as soon as the weather fines up next spring. Sweet pea plants are surprisingly hardy and do not need any artificial heat over winter, but they do benefit from protection from cold winds and wet outdoor conditions. The small, hard round seeds can be sown in plant pots or small seed trays of well-drained compost now. Some growers either soak the seed in tepid water for 24 hours or chip away a small piece of the hard seed coat to aid germination, although if using fresh seed, they usually germinate without too many problems. To germinate provide gentle heat, such as a propagator, but once germinated, keep the seedlings in a light, cool place, and keep the compost in the pots just moist.