The Q&A Archives: Pinching Back Sweet Pea Seedlings

Question: I am currently growing "Explorer" sweet pea seedlings under grow lights and the seedlings have reached the height of 4-5 inches. All the seedlings appear to be healthy and are producing good leaf growth. Is it helpful to pinch back upper growth on these seedlings at this time to promote basal branching? The seedlings will either be planted out in May or transplanted to pots. I live in USDA zone 5. Randy Olthof Elmira, NY

Answer: Since you've started the seeds almost 3 1/2 months before setting them out (usually they should be started 4-6 weeks before setting out) you are going to have to pinch them back or the plants will become leggy trying to reach for the light (the spacesbetween leaves on the stem will increase in length).

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