The Q&A Archives: Growing Sweet Peas

Question: I have a very difficult time starting sweet pea seeds in my<br>yard. Can sweet peas start from seed where I live here in Michigan? Should I start them indoors? What I'm I doing wrong?

Answer: Don't dispair - the seed coat of sweet peas is so hard, it takes a while to soak up enough moisture for germination. You can speed germination if you nick the seed coats with a file or soak seeds overnight in tepid water. You can start them inside, but keep the temperatures fairly low (55-65F) since they prefer cool conditions. If you sow them outside, do so shortly before your last spring frost. They need full sun to grow well and flower abundantly. For best performance, use Burpee Booster for Peas & Beans, a natural inocculant that improves growth (see pg. 79 of Spring 98 Catalog). Enjoy your sweet peas this season!

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