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Sweet Peas Seedlings

neilwjneilwj Posts: 3
Sown my sweet pea seeds in an unheated porch once germinated I,ve transferred them to a cold frame but how do I stop them getting so leggy?, they are about 6 inches tall with one set of leaves only up to now, is it to soon to pinch the tips out Ive read wait until you have 4 sets of leaves at this rate they will be growing out of the cold frame.
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  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 20,451
    Did they have enough light in the porch? Is there enough light in the cold frame? How near the tips are the leaves? I think I'd wait until another set of leaves grows and if they are still very leggy then pinch them out.
    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • neilwjneilwj Posts: 3
    The porch is south facing as is the cold frame so both are getting the maximum amount of light for the time of year, they are all in root trainers so I thought all energy would go to the roots
  • SlumSlum Posts: 357
    If they were getting enough light, excessive heat can cause a growth spurt resulting in them being leggy. A south facing porch could easily do this. My sweetpeas were planted in autumn and are kept in an unheated and uninsulated greenhouse. Essentially it is cold and bright. 
  • These are mine. I’ve pinched them out once but they still seem spindly and leggy without much sign of new shoots.could I risk pinching a bit more off the tops?
  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 13,027
    Are they getting enough light?
    There are ashtrays of emulsion,
    for the fag ends of the aristocracy.
  • Yes definitely. I started them before Xmas in a light garage with a S facing window. When I thought they were shooting too quickly I moved them into the garden shed which is darker but still has a south facing window, and then back to the garage again after I trimmed the ends off. I just thought by now I would have some sideshoots but nothing much seems to have happened!
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,299
    October last year for mine frost free green house, turned regularly, pinched out at about the same height,but they had leaves all down the stem, hardened off, for 10 days, now outside,am thinking yours were grown too softly
  • AstroAstro Posts: 383
    As a percentage they need light far more than heat, I'd image the garage was too warm for the light levels. For most seedlings it wouldn't be such a problem but sweet peas are prone to legginess.  

    I'd cut them down to above a lower set of leaves.
  • Those were my thoughts, thank you. We have just bought a small cold frame. I’ll start them in that next year.
  • KiliKili Posts: 1,019
    edited April 2021
    Yes definitely. I started them before Xmas in a light garage with a S facing window. When I thought they were shooting too quickly I moved them into the garden shed which is darker but still has a south facing window, and then back to the garage again after I trimmed the ends off. I just thought by now I would have some sideshoots but nothing much seems to have happened!

    I would pinch your plants back to the first or second set of leaves and then stick them outside under a glass jar or cold frame if you have one, bring them in at night for the first few days if they have been in a garage then leave them out. Overhead light (or lack thereof ) is your problem, hence why there reaching for the light all the time and becoming elongated..

    In future save yourself the time effort and aggravation and just start them in February directly in a cold frame each year and you wont have the hassles you've encountered.

    I sow mine at the end of February each year directly in my cold greenhouse with no bottom heat and they always come up just fine. Seed I collected from last years plants can be seen below. I've just pinched the tops out and there doing just fine in the greenhouse. In fact I could just plant them out now as there pretty hardy , but I'll wait until the end of the month.



    'The power of accurate observation .... is commonly called cynicism by those that have not got it.

    George Bernard Shaw'

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