Saturday, 22 December 2012

Sowing Sweet Pea Seeds

The  sweet pea seeds came too late to plant in October and really sowing them in  autumn would give quite early flowers.  Planting in March will give later flowers but not really by much.   So how about sowing them in December? 

Having all  the sweet pea seeds handy in the greenhouse  was far  too much of a temptation so I have spent a couple of hours today sowing the Bristol and Eclipse seeds.  I am planting them in 3 inch  pots with New Horizon's peat free growing medium; one seed per pot.  Whether they will survive well  until the spring is debatable but worth a go.  I sowed 25 Bristol and 29 Eclipse seeds which will give me a lot more than I will need.  King's seeds seem to be very generous with the number of seeds in a packet.  They have been put into the plastic greenhouse inside my glass greenhouse to give them  a little more protection and warmth. There is no heat in the greenhouse at the moment but it does seem to stay about ten degrees during the day in the plastic  green house.

In order to keep all the same colours together in the rows when the sweet peas are planted out, I have labelled them very carefully.  I hate it when I mix up the varieties.  Writing  out the labels is  a very time consuming task  but it is worth it. 

I washed all my labels earlier  in December and put them all together in a net bag.  I have been collecting old  labels from where ever I find them.  I have about ten from the new allotment.  Carefully washing them to remove the old writing means that I have quite a few this year.  From  the  number I used today, I think  that I will still run  out before the summer.   I will wash and recycle them  but I am not confident that I  will not have to buy some more before the spring is out.

I planted some of my own broad  bean seed  in  November and they have  germinated fairly well.  I have transplanted  them  into 3 inch pots and they seem to be doing  quite well.  I am  hoping that they will grow quite big and be ready for the allotment  competition  in the first week of July.  However, just in case,  I  have sown some more exhibition ones to make sure I have a presentable row. 

I took a load of hardwood cuttings in  the autumn and  they all seem to be coming very well.  They are all fairly simple  to  strike:  Forcythia x intermedia, Ribes sanguineum, Spirea japonica and Spirea prunifolia and they will either be put into my daughter's garden or on the new allotment. 

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