Owl's Acre Seed

Sowing a Summer Garden

Elizabeth Crawford

The winds are picking up and finally we have some proper wet weather here in southern England. It’s been cold too, with night temperatures consistantly dropping below zero last week, and some hard frost reaching up into the tree branches. Now is the ideal time to start planning your sweet pea garden for next year, and getting some seeds sown. Many growers sow in November indoors, overwintering the young plants in a cold frame or unheated greenhouse. This gives the plants a good strong vegetative start before floral initiation, and the chance to develop vigorous roots. This is also the later end of the window for sowing Winter Sunshine varieties, which initiate flowering as early as late March, and need as much time over the winter as possible to get going. With the Spencer varieties, I also get a fantastic crop from a late January sowing, with flowers typically from July onwards, and sweet peas can still get a good start from sowings well into March.