Garden: Sweet peas from seed

I’ve had a packet of sweet pea seeds for two years and I keep meaning to plant them – in particular because everyone says how easy they are to grow and how pretty the flowers are. However the internet keeps telling me to soak them which is a bit off-putting

This year I am going to get informed and grow them!

The Royal Horticultural Society says that I should sow the seeds indoors between January and April – however they do not advise soaking the seeds; their suggestion is to place the seeds on top of moist kitchen towel in an airtight container in a warm room (15 degrees centigrade apparently)

(Picture from Gardener’s World)

Then when the seeds swell or sprout then you sow them – preferably covered with one centimetre of compost

The tricky issue of spacing is always something the internet has various opinions on, it seems 3 ish centimetres apart might be sufficient when planting the seeds, changing to 9 cm once the seedlings are 3.5 cm tall

AND then in April the January sown plants can be planted outside with a minimum spacing of 20 cm apart. I am starting to see why I put off growing these!

There is also them the matter of pinching out the tips when the plants reach 10 cm, apparently you want them to get bushy with side shoots – totally unlike tomatoes

Then as a final complication the plants want something to climb; a wigwam of canes or some netting structure which generally tie me in knots

I’m perilously close to informing myself out of trying these seeds – although maybe being so old they won’t germinate…

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