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Sweet pea seedlings too big already?

Hello. I planted sweet pea seeds a few weeks ago and since then have had them sitting on a sunny windowsill inside (I don’t have a greenhouse). They have grown very enthusiastically since then but unfortunately I live in the central belt of Scotland and yet again there is snow on the ground so I suspect it’ll be a while until I can plant them out. I have heard about nipping them out but I’m not sure if this is something I should do, or even how I do it. I’ve attached photos here (please note that this is not the sunny windowsill, just the watering windowsill!) and I hope that someone can give me some advice on what I should do with them between now and planting out, in what is likely to be at least a month or so away. Many thanks in advance. 


  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    I suspect you will get advise to pinch them out to stop them being leggy. I understand it's a good idea to put them in a cold frame outside once the seeds have germinated. "No heat is vital" says Sarah Raven.
  • YviestevieYviestevie Kingswinford, West MidlandsPosts: 6,896
    PInch them out just above the second set of leaves and keep them on the coolest windowsill you have until you can put them outside
    Hi from Kingswinford in the West Midlands
  • Bromley, KentPosts: 127
    When I run out of cold frame space I hang mine outside on hooks in tie handle food bags. They're fine with the cold but need protection from wind and rain as they're always a little flimsy (less so if you nip them as I do). I posted a pic somewhere here....
  • SuesynSuesyn South Somerset Posts: 614
    I planted mine in October and they have been outside ever since. We were away when the beast arrived and so they had to take their chances, I was doubtful they would survive but they have and I now have a second batch sown. The aim is to have them flowering all summer. I was also wondering if it would work if one removed the support  so that they had to climb again in the same way that climbing French beans do. Has anyone ever tried it?    
  • Bromley, KentPosts: 127
    Ah, here it is. I also use deeper styrene cups to overwinter, but have had less success that way. Damp, mildew etc

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,174
    Do they not get fungal problems Stuart?   Mind you, that's given me an idea ... you could make bags of fleece and do the same thing ... just a few moments to run up a few bags on the sewing machine (no need to edge the seams eh?)
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Bromley, KentPosts: 127
    Yes, Dove. I think the combination of warm and wet in the spring did for them last time, and ventilation was inadequate. I've given up on over-wintering as, without a proper cold frame, the benefits were minimal and I ended up with slightly feeble plants compared to spring sowing. I use styrene cups to keep the roots warm but the main thing is the hanging plastic bag being rigid enough to stop the wind knocking them over. Not convinced fleece would offer any improvement but, hey, it's another experiment  :D
  • I have put mine outside covered by a cloche. We have had a weekend of snow, but they seem to have survived. And I also nipped mine after the second set of leaves. 
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,298
    You do not ant to grow them inside, they are pretty hardy, you need to start getting them hardened off.  I  grew my first ones in Octoer, cold greenhouse, when they had a couple of lots of leaves, they went outside underneath the potting bench, just so they dont get too wet.I buy the seeds from Roger Parsons a champion grower/shower, he says do not pinch them out, because you get a growth spurt when its cold, and just before they are planted.
  • Holly 3Holly 3 Posts: 36
    Reading this I am worried now as I am a new gardener and had my s peas on my window sill thats south facing this whole time.
    Should I harden them off first or can I put them out?
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