When to plant sweet pea seeds

Sweet peas make for great garden flowers and look beautiful in bouquets. The flowering plant comes in a flurry of colours and has a lovely fragrance. Express.co.uk takes you through when to plant the sweet pea seeds and how to do it.

When should you plant sweet pea seeds?

The secret to successful sweet peas is, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, early sowing.

The almanac writes: “Growing sweet peas is akin to making a pie crust.

“Some people have the knack, others don’t. Sweet peas are quite hardy, growing from large, easy-to-handle, pea-like seeds.


  • How to sow sweet pea seeds in winter

“Still, they’re a bit tricky because they are slow to germinate. It’s worth experimenting with different seeds each year.”

Plant them in very late winter or early spring as soon as the soil is dry enough to work, meaning if you haven’t put your sweet pea seeds in the ground yet, you should hurry.

Preferably you should sow your sweet peas seeds anytime from October until March, and only put two seeds to a pot.

You can sow your sweet pea seeds in March but growing sweet peas over winter will produce stronger, more robust plants.

Pot-sowing is generally more reliable than direct sowing, though it is more time-consuming.

You should plant sweet peas in an open, sunny position in a well-drained but moisture-retentive soil, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Leave the seed pods on the plants until they have turned a paper bag colour.

Collect them on a dry day and remove them from their pods and store in paper bags in a dry place until you a ready to sow them.

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How to plant sweet peas

The Old Farmer’s Almanac said: “Prior to planting, you’re going to want to dig a nice deep trench of about four inches in depth.

“After you dig the trench, make holes with a pencil, drop in the seeds, and press down on the soil to firm it and shut out any light.

“Before planting, soak the seeds in water for 24 hours. Then nick the seeds with a nail file before planting to speed sprouting. You do not need to soak seeds in a temperate climate.

“Once planted, germination can take seven to 15 days, depending on the soil temperature.

“As seedlings emerge and grow, gradually fill in the trench. Hoe more soil up to them.

“Keep soil moist. Summer rain may be ample. If you put your finger into the soil bed to its first joint and the soil is dry: water them at the soil level and do so in the morning; sweet peas can suffer from bud drop.”

Sweet peas prefer cool days and nights and will start to fade when temperatures go above 18C (65F).

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