Now, I have seen in two books: "Plant Propagation for the Amateur Gardener" by John Wright and "Science and the Garden" edited by David Ingram among others, that sweet pea seeds should either be chipped with a knife or sanded to make a hole for water to enter the seed. This they say will help to overcome seed dormancy.
Well if you think that I am going to chip over 300 seeds then you are sadly mistaken. I have been growing sweet peas since I was 16 and I have never chipped or sanded sweet pea seeds. They are tiny little beggars in any case and I think that I would be chipping and sanding the ends of my fingers rather than the seeds.
Although I cannot remember every years germination rate, in most recent years I have had more or less 100% germination without chipping.
Having run out of both pots and room in the greenhouse, I have decided to wait before I sow the rest of the sweet pea seeds. I have until March to sow them.
I will choose a warmish day to plant out the shallots, broad beans and garlic that I have started in pots and cover them with plastic cloches. This will give me more than enough pots for the sweet peas.
This is the first time that I have run out of space in the greenhouse in December.
I will have to make room for the giant leeks and onions when they need transplanting into pots. Also, I will need to transplant the big cabbage and cauliflowers.
I am hoping to grow some big plants next season.
Problem is that I can't get the digging done. Will the rain ever stop? I have still got over half the new allotment to dig over and put plants into. I will try to get down there tomorrow. I also need to get the veg from the old allotment. I need some more carrots, onions, pumpkins (if they haven't gone rotten now) leeks and brussel sprouts. I will see if there is any more kale or broccoli but there wasn't much last time I looked. I will spend a little more time on these next season.
The kale and broccoli seed wwere given to me so I didn't bother too much with them.