Starting sweet Pea seeds indoors - Knowledgebase Question

Edmonds, Wa
Question by dearjanet
March 3, 2011
I just bought some and would like to start them indoors. Can you tell me how?


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Answer from NGA
March 3, 2011

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You can start your sweet peas indoors now or you can sow them directly in the garden in April (they don't mind cool weather). If you decide to start them indoors you'll need a seed starting tray filled with moistened potting soil or individual containers or peat pots filled with moistened potting soil. Sweet pea seeds have a hard outer coat. You'll either need to soak the seeds overnight before planting them or you'll need to nick the seed coat. Nicking the seed with a nail clipper breaks the outer coat of the seed so it can absorb water immediately. By doing this a larger percentage of your seeds will germinate and they will sprout a few days earlier.

Heres how: Hold a seed between your thumb and forefinger. With the other hand, hold the clippers at an angle so that you use one end of the blade, then clip your seed. Your goal is to make a slice through the brown top coat of the seed, not to take a chunk out. Sometimes you can barely see the nick you made and sometimes a piece of the seed coat cracks off and you see the lighter colored inner seed. Both are correct.

Sow the seeds about a half inch deep and cover with moistened potting soil. The seeds will sprout in about 14 days.

Best wishes with your sweet peas!

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