Some seeds are easier than others. Did you pre-soak the sweet peas? And are you sure they weren't eaten by mice? I have good years and bad.
Hi Posy, no I did not soak
the seed, never thought of that. I had a similar poor rate of germination last
year with fresh seed. C’est La Vie
No mice involved as they were in the green house and nos sign of distburance in the root trainers.
'The power of accurate observation .... is commonly called cynicism by those that have not got it.
George Bernard Shaw'
I bought the Calibrachoa seeds from dobies last year I sowed half a packet germination was very poor ended up with 2 plants , sowed the rest this year zero germination . I buy the wave petunia seeds from dobies which are fantastic plants and sow them at the same time germination is around 95% . I think you can get the odd bad packet of seeds ( calibrachoa from seed is relatively new ). I've had some rudbeckia G strum and giant scabious in the past and no matter what with numerous different attempts I couldn't get one to germinate. Had a pack of petunia from ebay a few years ago not one germinated, I grow well over a 100 petunia plants every year no problem.
I wouldn't have sown sweet peas in January. If you sow in autumn - outdoors so that they germinate at a sensble, steady temperature, you then have small plants which can be pinched out in readiness for planting later. They can be kept out of the worst winter weather in a cold frame or similar with ventilation. Either that, sow at this time of year, to get the same effect, using a cold frame again for protection against rough weather. They'll germinate and grow slowly, and are then ready to plant out when the conditions dictate - ie, according to your own local climate. They'll be sturdier and will require minimal acclimatisation.Sowing in January is either too cold, or you need a lot of heat to germinate, and then you'll be left with plants which can be very leggy and weak, making it difficult to grow them on well. When it's too cold, they'll just sit there doing nothing and eventually rot off. Most people overwater in winter and at this time of year too.
Calibrachoa from Mr Fothergills. Two packets sown four weeks ago, 6 up from one, none from the other. Petunia sown at the same time doing well. Got through five packets of calibrachoa last year with only a few germinating....even bought a heated propagator this year in case my windowsill hadn't been warm enough. Won't try again.