what to grow… Sweet Peas

Last autumn I got my dream… a polytunnel.  As it was late in the season I didn’t get the chance to grow that much. But this year all that will change.

Being sooo far “up north”” I ignore all the magazine’s telling me to start sowing seeds now and add least a month to the suggested growing dates even in a polytunnel.

A prime example is Sweet Peas.  I have long since given up sowing these in autumn so by the following Spring the are “strong and sturdy plants” – mine are just winter feed for passing mice!

So if I follow the guidelines my sweet peas would have been planted January or February, obviously these guidelines are ignored.

I am based in the Lake District; far enough north to have had a heavy frost last night where, this morning, I needed to go around and breaking the ice on the animals water feeders and then later in the day… snow, so I decided to sow my Sweet Pea seeds in the house so as not to get frostbite whilst sowing.

I have 4 different varieties, Dwarf, which is suitable for a hanging basket, Cuthbertson Mix, which I don’t know and Spencer Mix which is a well know variety, they are all scented. 20160308_111925.jpg

I also have the seeds I collected from my plants last year.

I sow some of the seeds into loo rolls, these are cheaper alternatives to root trainers used, as the name suggested, to get the roots to grow straight and long. I do not have enough for all the seeds so for the rest I will use pots.

I used general purpose compost and put the pots and loo rolls into a tray without holds in the bottom and water the compost with warm water.

I also soak the seeds to rehydrate them.20160308_154512.jpg

I put 2 seeds in each loo roll and 10/15 seeds per pot. I them sprinkle some compost over the top and a final water.

Once all done, and before I forget which are which I label them. I then put them into the polytunnel and cover with newspaper to help with germination.

When warm enough, which could be some months away, I will plant them out and in summer I will have lots of scented flowers for the garden and in the house.

some of last years blooms

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