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Growing Sweet Peas 2014/2015



  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 20,985

    I haven't been able to find any long root training type pots here in France. I used biodegrable loo rolls last year and they didn't go mouldy. I packed them in window box containers and infilled with compost all around the loo rolls which kept them from drying out, but when I planted them the roots were still mostly contained so I didn't have to disturb them. I didn't sow in autumn though so they were indoors. Went a bit leggy. I'll try in the GH in the next few days.

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • Thank you, is nice to be appreciated.

    I'm not really surprised to hear of the excellent germination rate of those old sweet peas....although viability does normally decrease with age.

    Interestingly, there is a heritage variety of veg pea named Ne Plus Ultra  on the market (and an excellent pea it is too) that was widely grown in Victorian times. A few years ago a few seeds were found at the back of an old cupboard and have been able to be reintroduced.

    They fell out of favour because needed substantial sticks, as they were 6/7feet tall. 

  • You're welcome David image.

    My interest in sweet peas has come from my late Dad's love of them (His name was David too !). I lost him in October 2012 to dementia, followed by a fatal stroke.

    During my childhood, my Dad always had sweet peas growing in the garden, clinging by their tendrils along the length and height of the fence. We all used to go to the local garden centre most weekends in summer, but we were too young at the time to understand or appreciate the beauty of gardening. We did know from an early age though that sweet pea seed pods were poisonous (Adult to child speak),...but the veg peas he grew in the back garden were fair game image.

    That's interesting about the heritage veg peas. Do you know if the other heritage vegetables were revived in the same way ?

    Back on to sweet peas David, the ones I've grown in my garden this summer don't appear to have any seed pods. They were sown lateish on though. Sown in early June and still flowering now...but no visible seed pods. Will it be too late now for my sweet peas to produce seed ?

  • YviestevieYviestevie Posts: 6,964

    Hi David,

    Mine are going in tomorrow.  Yours look fantastic.  I wont be growing very many as I only have a small garden and space is limited.

    Hi from Kingswinford in the West Midlands
  • Poppy - from experience image I can confirm that these childhood memories intensify with the passing years. I too have strong childhood memories of sweet peas going back to granddad & my own dad.

    At that time the most popular sweet peas grown were 'Spencer' varieties (still popular & available today) these were developed & introduced by the gardeners of the Althorpe Estate.....Lady Di's family, of course.  

    I have no personal knowledge of any other revived vegetable seed unfortunately.

    For myself I don't save sweet pea seed as it's important to be sure I'm growing flowers that will be true to type.....because of cross-pollination this can't be assured with saved seed. Also, I do like to trial new introductions.

    Re your June sown SPs, I can only presume that they will form seed pods as this is the normal progression of things, but likely the onset of cold weather may intervene to prevent it.


  • Good luck with your sowings, Yviestevie.....I think the timing is about right.

  • YviestevieYviestevie Posts: 6,964

    I have sowed sweep peas, lets hope they germinate OK.  Here's to Spring.

    Hi from Kingswinford in the West Midlands
  • Further to my earlier post to Poppy, I've just stumbled upon this info which may be of interest:

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 20,985

    Have sown my sweet peas, in loo roll middles stood up in a window box full of compost. The window box is not outside the window! It's just that it was the right size.

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • Thanks David image.

    Spencer varieties ? I'm sure I've seen that name somewhere...(shhhhh , I think they are one of the named varieties I read about in my RHS book. Don't tell Mike *sniggers* image).

    I still have a few seeds of each variety left of the sweet peas in my garden. When would be the best time to sow these ?

    I live in South East Scotland, about 15 miles inland from the East coast. My garden gets a bit of shelter from winds coming from the North and South (also N.E., N.W. , S.E. and S.W.) due to the layout of the gardens and houses, but often gets battered by winds coming from the East and West. ( 2 streets running parallel to each other, back gardens in our street back onto back gardens of the houses in the next street = like a wind tunnel running East - West).

    I don't have a greenhouse or cold frame yet, but do have 2 of those plastic mini growhouses. One is a 4 tier mini growhouse and the other is approx 4 feet wide x 2 feet deep x 6 foot 4" high - a walk-in mini growhouse. They are in a sheltered position out of the worst winds and get full sun for most of the day. I put fleece covers on both of them today, then put the plastic covers over the fleece. I've closed the zips on both fleece covers but left the plastic ones open.

    Both mini growhouses are in an area enclosed with wooden post and rail, with 5' high brushwood screening down one side and along the back, sheltering both growhouses from gusty winds. The space in front of them is open, approx 4' x 8', and is in front of my shed. The shed provides shelter in front of the growhouses (It's a massive old dinosaur of a shed - council built and solid, 10' x 8' with a pent roof).

    The fourth side is open and adjacent to my neighbour's garden, although my neighbour's raised decking and sheds provide shelter from the South East. Oh, and both growhouses are tied down so securely that recent 60 - 70mph gusty winds made no impact image.

    Daytime temps are averaging around 18*C, but nights can be as low as 3*C now.

    ...*goes outside to check temp inside the bigger mini growhouse*..........................

    Temperature inside big mini growhouse at 10.15pm is 10*C


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