‘Speeds up the sprouting process’: Use a nail file on your sweet pea seeds before sowing


Sweet peas are annuals, which mean they germinate, grow, flower, set seed and die all in one year meaning they have to be re-grown each year. They are long-flowering and provide plenty of colour, scent and flowers in the garden to pick for months on end. However, for those setting their sights on adding sweet peas to their outdoor space, they don’t have long to plant them.

Sweet peas can be sown under cover or indoors as early as January or as late in the year as October, ready to bloom in the summer.

However, they aren’t ideally planted outside until the weather warms up.

This can be as soon as March if the temperature allows, although most prefer to be planted between April and May.

If you are setting your sights on sowing sweet peas from scratch undercover, you only have one month left to get them ready in time for summer.

But, if your sweet peas are to be transferred outdoors, April is the perfect time.

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The next step is to sow the seeds into “root trainers” and cover them up to speed up germination, according to the gardening pros at Gardening Etc.

They said: “Sweet peas have deep roots, so it’s best to sow them in root trainers.

“These are deep modules that open out, so seedlings can be planted without their roots being disturbed.

“Covering pots with a plastic dome lid will increase humidity and speed up germination.”

The experts at Floret advised gardeners to fill them with a mixture of seed and multi-purpose compost and allocate two seeds per pot, using your finger to poke them a half-inch into the soil.

Pinching out the tips of sweet pea seedlings as they grow encourages them to develop bushy side shoots that will produce more flowers. 

The team at Floret says to do this when the plants are between four and six inches tall. Pinch just above a leaf joint, leaving two or three leaf nodes.

Finally, when your seedlings are looking sturdy and the ground is warm outdoors, it’s time to get planting.

Before you do so, remember that sweet peas are greedy plants and require lots of feeding to flourish so make sure you’re planting them into well-prepared soil.

The experts said: “A scattering of bone meal, a thick layer of compost or well-rotted manure, and a generous dose of natural fertiliser will do the trick.”


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