Annuals forum: Climbing Sweet peas

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Name: Pippi21
Silver Spring, Maryland 20906 (Zone 7a)
Pippi21
Mar 24, 2010 9:32 PM CST
Okay, need help on this one. I have a pack of climbing sweet peas, Royal Family(mixed colors) that I want to sow today. Do I need to soak or nick them before sowing? My goal is to let them climb onto my mailbox..
Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
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Joannabanana
Mar 25, 2010 7:53 AM CST
You can soak them, but usually the spring cool damp conditions is good enough. Are you direct seeding them?
Name: Pippi21
Silver Spring, Maryland 20906 (Zone 7a)
Pippi21
Mar 31, 2010 11:47 AM CST
Joanne, I was considering WS them, but depends on how long it will take. Anybody know off the top of their head? Tomorrow is April 1st. and our last chance of frost date here is April 22 I think, so am wondering if I should just wait and then direct sow them? How will I know when I should open up my containers on the seedling that have already germinated? Do I just open them a little at a time instead of all at once, weather depending? At what temperature should I be able to open them(60's? 70"s?) Will opening them help them develop their second true leaves which means I can set them in the flowerbed? When I am able to plant them in the flowerbed, should I use the top of the jug to protect them for a while?(I'm thinking from squirrells, chipmunk and deer) Wouldn't I would need clear, soda bottles that are clear, instead of milk jugs?What about clear, water bottles?
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
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kqcrna
Mar 31, 2010 5:18 PM CST
I sowed some a few years ago but don't remember if it was winter or spring, but I did them in a jug. I think they're pretty hardy to cold weather.

You open jugs when you are satisfied with germination. If the weather is hot, you can keep closed and add extra ventilation holes. You can also modify their temp by sun exposure.

Karen
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
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Onewish1
Apr 2, 2010 7:29 PM CST
I have some too and wondering if there is still time to WS them
Name: Heidi
Indianapolis, IN
Zone 5b
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dividedsky
Apr 10, 2010 10:20 AM CST
So sweet pea (flowers) are not frost hardy like eating peas and have a higher germination temperature? If you're direct sowing them, you'd plant them after all danger of frost has passed? Or they are somewhat frost tolerant and I can direct sow them a couple weeks before my "Definitely Won't Get Frost" date?

One source is telling me that the germination temp is 65-75 degrees, another, 55-65. Regardless, if I sprout them, do I need to make sure the soil that I put the sprouts in is around the same temp as I sprouted them? Does that question make sense? If I sprout them in the house at around 70 degrees and put them in soil that is, say, around 50 degrees, will they die?

Here's another dumb question: If I decide that I need to find out what the actual soil temp is, do I have to buy a soil thermometer? Or can I just stick my meat thermometer into the ground as far as it will go? (Shhh! Don't tell my dinner guests!)
Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5a)
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mom2goldens
Apr 10, 2010 7:53 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing at using the meat thermometer!
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6a)
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Steven
Apr 18, 2010 3:32 PM CST
Sweet Peas are very hardy and can be sown as soon as the grown can be worked, which sometimes is as early as March. I planted mine about a month or so ago and they are up now making their first true leaves. They do best in cool weather, they are also very popular in England where they often have lots of cool damp weather which the Sweet Peas love!
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
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kqcrna
Apr 18, 2010 6:47 PM CST
Heidi: You just need to become a compost wacko.

I, a certified compost wacko, own both a soil thermometer and a compost thermometer. *Blush*

Karen
Name: Heidi
Indianapolis, IN
Zone 5b
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dividedsky
Apr 18, 2010 6:56 PM CST
Cool, thanks for the info. I'll put them out soon. Can't wait to get my first sweet pea blooms.

Well, until I become a compost wacko, the meat thermometer works out just fine. The neighbors might think I'm insane, but what do they know? Hilarious!
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Container Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids
Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Canadian Roses Seed Starter Tropicals Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Steven
Apr 18, 2010 7:14 PM CST
Ok, I feel pretty naive right now..........but what is a soil thermometer for? *Blush*
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
Apr 18, 2010 7:26 PM CST
To measure the soil temp.

Karen
Name: Heidi
Indianapolis, IN
Zone 5b
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dividedsky
Apr 18, 2010 7:46 PM CST
If a seed germinates within a certain range of temperatures, and the soil isn't within that temperature range, some people won't sow the seed at that time. Especially because there is a danger of seeds rotting in cold, wet soil. If you're a farmer planting several acres, you can imagine what kind of loss that would be.

I did a little research and found that you're supposed to insert it 2"-3" if you're sowing seeds or deeper if you're transplanting.
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Container Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids
Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Canadian Roses Seed Starter Tropicals Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Steven
Apr 18, 2010 7:56 PM CST
Ok, that makes sense! Thanks Heidi and Karen!

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