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Sweet Peas

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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,325

    Do you mean there's 10 in one pot Hazel?

    If so, it's not ideal, unless it's a great big pot, in which you can let them grow away for the rest of the  season. If they're that small, I'd try and separate into bundles of two or three, into a 3 or 4 inch pot, let them carry on growing untill they're big enough to fend for themselves well , and be planted out in the big bad world in their final position, be that pot or border.

    I assume you have them outside, and just protected from the worst of the weather? If not, and they're in a greenhouse or cold frame, you'll need to watch they get enough light or they'll get leggy. Pinch them out as they grow, so that they become bushy plants. Make sure they're not cossetted either - sweet peas are hardy  image

    Ordinary compost is fine for now. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • I was looking for David's thread about sweet peas earlier this week and I was sorry to see his replies were not there anymore. It was very useful last year and I was hoping to find some information about dwarf sweet peas. I have a rather large pot (around 40 cm diameter) and I don't know how many sweet peas I could plant in it. Anyone can help? Also, is it absolutely necessary to grow the climbing variety in root trainers?

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,325

    I've never used root trainers, pitter patter, and I grow them every year with good success rates. It's really not vital.  I rarely grow early either, as the direct sown ones usually catch up anyway. Our 'spring' weather isn't that warm, so when planting out the early sown ones, they tend to sulk for a while and it's not worth the effort. 

    I sow two or three to a 3 or 4 inch pot and then plant the entire pot out when the roots are showing through the bottom. 

    In a pot that size, you could  get about eight or maybe ten, providing you feed and water well. Some people might even say more, but I always prefer to give mine enough room to thrive. image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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  • Thank you, Fairygirl. It's the first time I'm growing the dwarf/basket variety and they should grow to about 40 cm (unless they get very leggy, but I'll be pinching them out).

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,325

    Sorry Hazel - I didn't see your post last night. They'll have got lanky because of how they've been grwoing. It might be tricky to separate them, but it's worth having a go. If you leave them and just pot them on, they're not going to be brilliant anyway as they'll just get tangled together, and won't have a good air flow through them which tends to lead to mildew etc.

    If you can gently tease them apart to the best of your ability, and even get two or three in a small pot, that will benefit them. Soak the pot really well before hand, and that might make it easier. If you can only get a clump of four or so, you can nip one or two out completely and just leave two. I reckon if you get five decent plants from that pot, you'll do well. Sacrifice a few and you'll get a better result as they need a good bit of room to thrive. 

    If you have any seed, sow some in a few weeks. They'll grow on quickly and catch up, and you'll then have a good succession of plants  for not much effort. image

    Good luck with yours ppatter - I've not done the dwarf ones before, but I know people who have. They're good in those wall baskets if you can keep them moist and fed enough through the driest weather.

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Hi people,

    Can't find the advice i need, so:

    I have never managed to grow SP from seed until this year when I bought fresh seed in November and planted them in root trainers in the GH same day. Pretty much 100% germination which is around 95% better than I've ever achieved before. 

    I have pinched these out about a month ago, they are now growing fast again - can I pinch out again like a penstemon cutting? Roots are through the bottom of the trainers. What should I do? Won't they be using up all the nutrients soon?

    Just how frost sensitive are SPs? If I prepare a bed with compost etc and cover it for a couple of weeks to warm it will that be sufficient to stop them sulking or do I really need to wait to avoid any chance of frost? (I am in South Gloucestershire, Garden is walled but planting area is in exposed centre).

    thanks in advance


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,325

    They're hardy E. Boy, but as you've been growing them undercover for ages, you'll need to harden them off a bit. Ideally you would have kept pinching them out over winter as they grew, which makes them bushy and stronger, and better able to withstand any hungry molluscs.

    It's also the reason why it's best to use seed compost for early sowing in autumn, as ordinary MP is too rich and encourages a lot of growth, leading to plants getting big and soft too early. 

    You could pot them on - 2 or 3 into a 7 inch pot or similar, and then plant the whole pot when you've hardened them off. Getting them outside will slow the growth down, but take a little time to do it - out through the day and in at night for a few days. Keep them sheltered from rough, wet  weather as well - that does more harm than cold  image

    Last edited: 25 February 2017 10:10:35

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Thanks FG. Have chopped them and they look better already!

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