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Sweet Pea Seedlings


I recently sowed some sweet peas (26th Oct) to see if I can get some plants going for next year. They duly germinated after seven days and nearly two weeks in they seem to be doing well. 

My question would be how soon should they go out into a cold frame and would they need potting on into larger pots before they go out or will they be ok in their loo role pots?

This is the first time I’ve grown Sweet Peas so I’m very much a newbie at this (and gardening in general to be honest!)

Many thanks for all your help!



  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,017
    I think they can go into a cold frame straightaway as that will help give them extra light and prevent them getting stretched or bent (etiolated).  Pot on when you can see roots poking thru your loo rolls and pinch out the tops when they have true leaves.  This will help them bush out next spring and make more flowers.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,860
    Ideally, you'd have sown them and kept them in the cold frame so that they germinated more slowly - a couple of weeks is best, so they've been a bit too warm.
    Not to worry though, but they need to be in a colder place now to avoid them being etiolated, as @Obelixx says. Don't cosset them either - keep the lid open. They only need protection from the worst of winter weather. I don't often sow in autumn because the spring sown ones catch up ,but I did them last year, and have done some this year. They'll stay in the growhouse with the lid opened - through frosts, snow and everything else  :)

    They'll slow down as temps cool anyway, but pinching out will probably be needed as they grow, and that might be towards spring rather than this year, although that will depend on whereabouts you are, as temps vary enormously in the UK  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Hi, I have also sown sweet peas for the first time in October in my potting shed. I have recently noticed that some of the bottom leaves are being eaten. Any ideas anybody? 
  • Apparently mice are really partial to them!
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,860
    Slugs/snails for the leaves. Mice only eat the seeds  :)
    Make sure they're getting enough light in the shed. They should really be outside, with just some minimal protection if they're growing. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • SophieKSophieK Posts: 244
    edited November 2020
    Adding to @eyeball_kid's question: I did two batches of sweet pea sowing 2 weeks apart, germinating indoors, potted them up then moving them to the cold frame. The first lot is already quite tall, should I just pinch them so they don't become a tangle mess in my small cold frame? (because they're a long way from being planted in the ground)
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,860
    Yes - this is the problem when they get too much protection, and get too warm . Pinching out will be necessary. :)
    Up here - they don't get to that size over winter, which makes it easier. I have my germinated ones outside, just under a small perspex table, which keeps the worst of our weather off them, but they're at a much cooler temperature.
    Yours could probably have been left outside, under a table or similar, so that they get light but not heat. Towns and cities are always warmer than less urban areas, and especially in the south. 

    You may even be better potting them on if you have deeper pots - rose/clematis pots for example. You can then bury them a bit deeper.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Hi @Fairygirl,
    I think my seedlings are nearly ready to be potted on, they’re sitting comfortably in my new cold frame and starting to push their roots through the bottom of the loo rolls 😊  Can the stem be buried down a bit under the surface of the compost or will that damage them?
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,860
    If you have some of the aforementioned rose/clematis pots, you can put several of them into those - 3 or 4 easily. 
    Normally , you wouldn't pot these plants on as such, because they're not going to grow too much now, but because they've all been grown in much warmer conditions than is ideal, you could do as I suggested to the previous poster. 
    Pinching out will probably be required anyway as they'll just get big and lanky before it's possible to plant them out next spring. 
    This is why they shouldn't be cossetted. Mine are about 2 inches tall, so will need virtually nothing done to them before planting out   ;)  
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • sarinkasarinka Posts: 270
    It's definitely been harder to keep them cool enough down south in this not so chilly autumn. Mine are outside but look like this. Looks like a jungle under there.

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