Plant of the Week: Sweet peas

This is catch-up time for anyone who loves sweet peas.

Normally, if you want the strongest, the fittest, the best

sweet peas possible, you sow the hard-coated seeds in

autumn.

They germinate and produce healthy young plants to be planted out in early spring (OK, some people actually plant them outdoors in a cold frame as early as the start of March).

Whenever there's a threat of frost, close the frame and, to make doubly sure that its precious occupants are safe and relatively warm, cover it with old carpet or something equally suitable.

But if you missed the autumn sowing, sow the seeds now.

Some gardeners soak them for 24 hours or chip them, nicking the hard coating with a sharp knife. This encourages germination.

Put two or three seeds into a deep pot filled with good compost and keep them reasonably

warm.

When the plants appear, put them into the greenhouse or

that cold frame.

YP MAG 8/1/11