Sowing sweet peas

Am I too late?  Remember I am not in South of England!  In 2009 I started sowing in late October, which admittedly was a little late but I thought they might still manage a head start.  However with the severe winter they spent the following two months at approx -10C.  No head start there and I had to sow all over again in Spring.  This year I am about to start now – wish me luck.  The idea of starting in the autumn is to get well established plants to romp away and produce flowers in May.  Well mine were in flower in mid June in 2009 after being sown in October and flowering in mid June (about a week later) in 2010.  I will look after them this year and see what happens!

The gardening wisdom of old timers is to soak the seeds before hand, or to chit them – put a small slit in each – to get them to germinate quicker.  Do you know how small a sweet pea seed is?  Making a slit in each seed sounds like a gardening method for people who have the time and patience to stuff mushrooms or tomatoes for a meal.  This isn’t me! Which method is really best?  I am willing to change my mind with proof of success.

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