I have trouble growing sweet peas, which I love for their perfume and colours. I soak the seeds lightly on fabric or something porous, and when they appear to be swollen and ready to plant, I do so in a raised garden which faces east. But little or no joy. Help?
Sweet peas can be grown successfully from seed and do not need to be soaked before planting. The key to success is sowing into a well prepared bed where compost has been incorporated into the soil so that the seeds to not become excessively wet and therefore rot before germination. It’s also important to not plant the seeds too deep – only about 1-2 cm below the level of the soil. If there is insufficient or erratic rainfall after sowing the seed, water lightly and regularly every second day until the seed is evenly germinated. However, if you’ve experienced ongoing difficulties growing sweet peas from seed it may be better to purchase young plants.
Sweet peas grow best in a sheltered warm site where the soil has been well prepared to ensure very good drainage during the growing period. Before planting seeds or young plants, ensure you put a frame or structure in place to support the vigorous growing sweet peas. This also helps provide a better sequence of flowering. As the young plants grow, attach them to your frame so they are not destroyed by strong winds.
Apply the occasional side dressing of Daltons Pemium Goldcote Rose & Flower throughout the growing season and water it in well.