How to Sow Sweet Pea Seeds for Cut Flowers
Have you ever struggled to grow Sweet Peas from seed or are you interested in giving it a go for the first time this year? Our founder Rosebie Morton is known for her expertise in growing Sweet Peas for cut flowers and shares her tips in an easy step-by-step guide below.
Rosebie runs a specialist Sweet Pea nursery near Chichester where we grow around a million Sweet Peas a year. Rosebie has loved Sweet Peas since childhood - she grew up in a military family and was always on the move. Wherever they went, Rosebie’s green-fingered mother would always plant a garden and Sweet Peas, with their understated beauty, would take pride of place.
What you will need:
- Sweet Pea Seeds
- Loo rolls and a larger pot or root trainers
- Good quality peat free compost
- Tray or table that you don’t mind getting a bit messy
When to Sow Sweet Peas for Cut Flowers
February - March is the perfect time to sow Sweet Pea seeds but Rosebie has sown Sweet Peas as late as April and still been successful. One of the things that is so magical about sowing Sweet Pea seeds during the dark winter is the promise of what is to come, when the exquisite scent of the first Sweet Pea flowers of the year unfurl.
The Best Varieties of Sweet Peas to Grow for Cut Flowers
If you are growing Sweet Peas outside in the UK Rosebie recommends choosing a summer flowering variety. For the very first time this year you can order Sweet Pea seeds directly from our specialist Sweet Pea nursery. If you are growing Sweet Peas for cut flowers then we would recommend our Sweet Pea Mixed Spencer Seeds. This mix has been carefully cultivated by the team to produce an abundance of flowers, filled with scent and longer stem lengths which are perfect for flower arranging. By popular demand we also have a limited number of packets of Theresa Maureen seeds. Theresa Maureen is perfect for pots and smaller gardens - it is strong and reliable and has beautifully shaped white flowers with lilac tips and an exquisite scent.
One of the key things when growing Sweet Peas from seed is to make sure the roots have enough depth (known as the root run). Sweet Peas do not like to have their roots disturbed so Rosebie suggests using loo-rolls kept upright in a group or invest in ‘Root Trainers’ which cleverly hinge open.
Where to Grow
Rosebie always suggests getting Sweet Pea seeds started on a sunny windowsill or in a greenhouse, rather than sowing directly into the soil.
How to Plant
- Start by moistening your compost - use a big tray or garden table and mix the compost with water so it’s damp but not soaking.
- If you are using loo-rolls place them in a larger pot so they stand upright. Then fill your loo rolls or root trainers with the damp compost until about 2-3cm from the top.
- Add your seeds and then cover with a final 2-3cm of compost.
There’s no need to chit or soak your Sweet Pea seeds.
Tip: Mice tend to be keen on Sweet Pea seeds so if your greenhouse attracts mice place some holy leaves over the top.
Caring for Your Sweet Pea Seedlings
Water your pots regularly, to keep the soil moist but never wet. Don’t let the soil dry out.
You can expect to see seedlings appear in about two weeks.