Wednesday, 25 March 2009


Today on the way home from the station (last day at work yesterday!) I stopped to buy some sweetpea seeds. I bought Elegant Ladies, heritage varieties with good scent. As I came away I thought I did not have enough and had been thinking about buying some of Sarah Raven's seeds. At home a card was waiting from a lovely friend, welcoming me to my new workless life and enclosing a packet of Sarah Raven's Dark Colour Mix. Synchonicity writ large.

This afternoon I split each packet in two and put half of each packet into water to soak overnight. The other halves I sowed in three inch pots and put into the propagator. I have read contradictory things about the value of soaking sweet peas so I thought I would do a mini trial. Sweetpeas should germinate within seven to twenty one days so there is plenty of room for manoeuvre there!

1 comment:

  1. Only just discovered your garden blog, ElizabethM - it is lovely. I tip I learned from a gardener from the Wellesbourne Horitultural Research Institute is to 'chit' sweet pea seeds first. Lay them on a polystyrene or plastic meat dish, on damp kitchen towel and cover with another damp towel. Cover with another plastic lid (or a propagator lid, but I like to recycle). Keep the paper towel damp and check daily. As soon as they start to chit you will see the little white root-tip protruding. Carefully lay them as they do onto the top of a part-filled pot of compost - I use polycups which I also learned from this old chap, as the roots are not then disturbed when transplanting - and cover with vermiculite. Then into the propagator proper and you are away. The seeds chit at different times so this way you can control the temperature and moisture levels. I trialed this method again this year with very old seed as well as fresh, and although the old seed (four years old) took much longer, many seeds still germinated. Do try this; it's fiddly but worth it and I also do this with cabbage or broccoli seed, though you need tweezers to pick up the individual seeds as they chit.