Autumn Sowing Sweet Peas

Hi Guys

After watching Monty Don's sweet pea trial and subsequent results that Autumn Sweet Peas perform better.

I'd like some advice on how to care for young sweet pea plants.  I've grown them in the greenhouse before now, and have pinched out but the plants have gone leggy, and even putting them in a sheltered spot in the garden didn't work as the frost killed them.

Oh and not forgetting the pests who love a winter snack on the sweet peas!

Didn't do very well this year growing them in a pot, so trying a new approach earlier sowing!






  • figratfigrat Posts: 1,619
    If you have a trawl through the threads on here, you'll find one called 'Sweet Pea Queries' or similar, started by David K. He is a regular poster, and a sweet pea guru. He has kindly offered to guide us all through sweet pea cultivation, so may I suggest that you repost on that thread? If you do, then we can all learn from each other rather than from different threads scattered around the site.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,665

    I believe Monty actually said that so far, teh autumn sown sweet peas have performed better but it remainsto be seen whether or not the spring sown ones catch up by staying in flower for longer in the season and thus producing as many blooms.

    Either way, given the winters here and the difficulties of getting them through, I shall be sowing sweet peas next Feb or March.   Didn't have space or inclination this year but I do for next.

    The Vendée, France
  • Personally I can't understand why Monty Don considered it necessary to conduct his 'sweet pea trial' in the first place, as the outcome of sowing them at varying times is fairly basic knowledge.....I suspect it was to save face, having being dismissive of autumn sowings in the first episode of the present series of GW (he also quite wrongly said Spencer sweet peas have little or no scent).

    He did indeed say in the latest episode that it was an update and the 'trial' was.yet to be concluded, but you don't have to be a  genius to work out what the outcome will be.


  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,665

    A little ungracious DK?  Monty has always sown his sweet peas in spring and had good enough results for him so it was good of him to respond to criticism and comments on the old Beeb boards and do a trial of sorts.   He was very gracious himself in accepting that, so far, the autumn ones had done better but it remains to be seen whetehr the spring ones catch up by lasting and flowering longer into autumn.

    As I've said, autumn sowing isn't an option for me and I can't be the only gardener out there with such problems.  Plus which, I'd rather have sweet peas going on into autumn when i'm here to enjoy them than peaking in summer when I'm away on hols.

    As with anything in gardening there are no hard and set rules except for certain very fussy and usually exotic plants.  For the rest, we have to do what suits our situation, climate, soil, resources and needs.  Luckily we have a wide variety of gardeners on here to offer advice from their own personal experience -which is what Monty does on GW.

    The Vendée, France
  • Just to say I have sweetpeas growing in a large pot and scrambling up a trellis and these were planted in the spring, and they are doing very well.  I do keep cutting off the old flowers before the seed pods develop so I think that helps.   Can't remember what the variety is called, but they have a lovely perfume, I will be planting more next spring.

  • Thank you all for your advice I will trawl through as you suggested figrat, thanks for the link kate 1123.

  • TootlesTootles Posts: 1,470
    I did the trial too and found the autumn sown sweat peas were very leggy, quite weak and quick to dry up. I'll be sowing mine in late spring as these gave me the best results. Good luck!
  • Tootles wrote (see)
    I did the trial too and found the autumn sown sweat peas were very leggy, quite weak and quick to dry up. I'll be sowing mine in late spring as these gave me the best results. Good luck!

    Tootles - with respect, legginess is a result of cultivation rather than being sown in autumn. However, as I always say about gardening, if it works for you, go for it.

  • Thanks Tootles! I suspect mine will be going in late spring too.



Sign In or Register to comment.