I WS sweet peas. A couple of plants have three sets of leaves. The average temps here now are 34* and 54*. Do you think I could plant them outdoors? I posted this on the annual forum but haven't received an answer. I thought this forum might be more active. I know I would have to acclimate them. I would like to hear your experiences.
I'm watching, as I'm doing them for the first time this year too. I got old seeds, looked very dry and cracked, so I put them in a damp paper towel and in 3 days some were already sprouted. Now they're in 2" pots, one each, indoors for the next couple of weeks until we open the house. Then I have to decide what to do next!
Is it right to pot them separately? I've seen pictures of clusters in cell packs. What works best?
Last frost date here is April 15th. I am going to plant my sweet pea that sprouted under lights outside today. They are about 5" long right now. I only had about three sprout. I also put some seed in water and let them soak--planted those directly outside last week. I don't think they're going to sprout. I Winter Sowed about three years ago and had good success. Last year, I WS and had very few sprout. This year tried under lights and had very few sprout. I hate to blame it on the seed. But, I'm not sure what other method to try to get my sweet peas to sprout. It's too windy now, but maybe this evening when the wind dies down, they will go outside.
6aseeder, that sounds very cool. Have you seen anything yet? What success did you have last year? Tis is my first year using the paper towel method. Germination has been pretty good, but I'm losing some sprouts when I plant them. Too wet, too dry, too deep-- It could drive a person mad!! Birder, I guess you feel the same way. Yikes!!!!
I read that sweet peas need to be soaked or nicked, but when I opened the packet I saw that the seeds were very, very dry, and some were cracked. I assumed from that they were old. I've also read that stratification is necessary on fresh seeds, but as they age they become easier to germinate- I don't remember the details but it made sense when I read it. So I just took a paper towel section, wet it, folded it, put the seeds in the fold, and stuck it in a ziplock. I did not chill it. Within 3 days a few seeds had aprouted. I have sprouted a few other kinds of seeds that way as well, some chilled, some not.
But then I'm not sure what to do. I fill a pot with pre- wet potting soil, use a pencil to make a hole, put in some pr- wet seed starting mix, put the sprouted seed in, cover lightly with more seed starting mix. Sometimes I get a seedling in a day or two, sometimes not. Should I cover with plastic?
Ive done dianthus, lupines, nicotiana, sweet peas, all different sizes of seeds. Lately I've covered with less soil and covered with plastic. Is it normal to lose so many sprouts?
re: peas. i had good germination in May 2010, outside in paper tubes. the peas were dessicated, with the outer coating wrinkled up. i used inoculant but no other special treatment like soaking. ( i am going to experiment using/not using inoculant with peas this year, too.) the peas did great until the voles nipped through the stems.
re: inoculant. you know, i got confused. i was thinking an inoculant was a catalyst for germination but i was wrong. some good info i could find on it was this:
it still holds that i will use the inoculant. my garden plot has not had legumes for at least 2 years, maybe more. i can use all the help i get, in case my plants escape the voles.
I put sweet peas out early March. They were about 3" high last Sunday, April 2. They are MUCH healthier than the ones I planted inside. I don't think I will do that again.
Edited to add:
These are the ones I soaked over night and planted directly into the planters I believe that is what I'm going to try again next year..
I think for grins I will sow some in jugs out side and some under grow lights inside. Hedge my bets. it is still only about 35 to 40F during the day. May try the water jugs filled with water in my cold frame also although right now they would probably freeze at night. :(
I planted my peas on March 20 in a small pile of rabbit poop on top of compost. They came up quickly and are growing quickly. I'm in Missouri, too, hoping it is a little cooler this summer, just can't take the humidity now that I'm getting older.
Well, I planted my SP outside in the cold frame 4-7. It runs down to 34 @ night and I have to fight to keep it below 90 during the day (open the flaps). No germination yet. The ones in the garage greenhouse are about 6" tall, Not terribly sturdy looking though. Have them under lights about 4" away. Guess I should set up a fan to induce stronger stems
Pfg: I nick and soak my seeds over night, then, plant in seed starting medium. I have tried WS and have had real good luck and then, last year, not so good. I used a different vendor. I wonder if it would work better if the seed was a year old before sowing? So, I tried under lights this year. I won't do that again--just too much trouble, and I have other seeds that I want to plant under lights and don't really have room for every thing under lights.
The ones I planted outside this year are about 7" right now. They are still quite short, but the weather has been really cool this year. I thought SP like cool weather and thought they would have done really well with this weather.
Next year, I think I will: Nick, Soak over night, put in Baggies and when they sprout, put them in some wet potting soil in the peat pots and put them outside.
I wonder what freezing the seed would do?
mstella, well, you sure have a point. I was thinking I would put them out after the last frost date-but then, I could just put them in the soil. I guess I kind of forgot about the freeze since we are out of the freezing weather now. My very best luck with SP was using the WS method. However, last year, I just didn't have good luck. I keep wondering if it was the seed since I used a different vendor.
once -- i read directions on seeds ... most were those "bean" like vines... and a few others... i nicked and soaked then WS"ed. everyone rotted. I have not done that since, even with big hard seeds, and they WS just fine. my sweet peas are about 3-4" tall on the tallest ones...
tcs: just a side note: bean seeds you soak, sweet pea seeds, nasturtium seeds you nick and soak. The bean seed would be damaged if you tried to nick it. They don't have a hard enough seed coat. But, it sounds like things are working well w/o the drama.
I getcha on that for 'spring sowing' -- totally makes sense -- but when i did the nicking and soaking -- they were sown in the dead of winter - Jan/Feb time frame. so with the freeze/thaw happening -- that's how they most likely rotted. at least in my experience.
I go home [back to IL] after my shift this afternoon... i really hope i get good weather so i can plant seedlings like an idiot ... then Thurs, i will grab what i can and bring them north with me. I'm trying to decide where to put the Sweet Peas. I've never had them before. How much sun do they need? I'm wondering i they will do well with only sun til early afternoon... I have two small flower beds up by the 'upper pool' and they'd be all afternoon sun, but there's a chain link fence they can climb.