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Sweet peas barely growing

Hello, have been struggling the last few years to grow sweet peas. I have had luck in years gone by. This year, they are pathetic. About 12 inches high at the moment and no flowers. In a large pot with a new bag of multi-purpose compost. Planted directly into the big pot in March.
Plus I had grown another strain of sweet in small pots in mini greenhouse, which are even worse.

Any ideas what I could be doing wrong? Thanks.

Posts

  • msqingxiaomsqingxiao North LondonPosts: 349
    It's my first year growing sweet peas but I found that the ones that I planted out late Apr, directly into ground, at a sunny location, pinched, tied to sticks, have been doing OK (though also just around 12 inches tall) and are now showing some signs of flower buds, despite being munched by slugs to different degrees. Was reading another post saying that sweet peas need a lot of watering, esp if you grow them in pots I guess.

    The ones I planted out in pots and not pinched have not been doing great, though I think I overlooked them, have not been watering them much...

    Any photos would help?
  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 1,715
    This year has been so out of the ordinary.
    I sowed seeds indoors and then planted the seedlings out.
    When? Very late as the weather and soils were so cold.
    Now in July they are only starting to climb and nothing with flowers.
    Give it time they will give you a show.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,198
    Where are you? Even in a normal year, planting direct in March wouldn't work where I am. Too cold. It's important to go by your local climate.
    Sowing direct means they can often get eaten by mice too.
    If you want to sow in March, sow indoors,  or undercover, in small pots [I do mine in late March]  then wait until they're about four/five inches tall, hardening off for a few days first. If it's cold and wet/windy, keep them sheltered and pinch them out to make them bushy. That way, they're stronger plants, and better able to shrug off pests and weather. Slugs are particularly fond of the soft new growth, so I'm careful about when I plant out in the ground. I rarely plant mine out until about mid May.
    They need a good growing medium [preferably with a layer of rotted manure in the bottom of a pot] - good compost and ideally some slow release food. That does them until they've been flowering for a good while, and you can then feed with tomato food to keep them going until the end of their season. Poor quality MPC dries out quickly and doesn't retain moisture well enough in my experience. 
    Most importantly, they need lots of water -especially in pots, and if the weather is very dry and hot. Despite all the info saying they grow in full sun, I find excessive sun is too much for them, and we don't even get the long spells of heat that areas in the south can get. Most of mine are in north west facing aspects, with some shade through the morning, or facing south east with shade from afternoon sun. All flowering and about 3 to 4 feet in height   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Thanks for that advice folks. Funny thing is that a few years ago they were pretty good using cheapo Wilko seeds. This year I had tried more expensive Mr F's new interesting looking varieties...
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