There’s no doubting that the best time to sow seeds is in the autumn. This mimics Mother Nature’s timing as the seed from the spent annuals falls to the ground. From late February through March it will cool enough to start planting most winter seeds. First in are the Sweet-Peas as well as one of our favourites, Primula malacoides or Fairy Primula as we know them.
Dainty but tough Primulas
They may be dainty and sweet but Primula are actually tough and pretty hardy. One of our favourite winter colour bedding plants for shade and part shade, Primulas can be sown from seed very easily.
From seed one grows the white and purple ones which grow taller than the other colours and more robust. If you want the pink or plum colours then you’ll have to wait for the seedlings available through late autumn. Sowing Primulas can be done directly into the garden or into seedling trays to be planted out once established.
As always a well prepared soil is half the battle. Liberal compost along with some bone meal and BioGanic dug into the soil and raked level is all you need. Rake the surface to a crumbly texture and you’re ready to sow the seeds. Primula seed is incredibly fine, sprinkle the seed as one would salt as evenly as possible. Once sown do not cover the seeds. Do not pat them down or rake again either. Simply water them and they will find their own way into the soil at the correct depth. Water them daily till they sprout and once they have two true leaves you can feed them with Multifeed to boost them. They can easily be transplanted once established so don’t worry too much if they are to close together in the beginning.
Primulas can also be sown in trays or small pots to plant out afterwards. Fill the containers with germination mix and then sprinkle the seeds onto the surface and water. Keep the containers in a cool spot till ready to be planted out.
Grow Fragrant Sweet Peas
Growing sweet peas easier than you think. Allowing for choice, both climbing and dwarf varieties are available. You could just poke a seed in the ground and wait and you would actually get pretty good results too. But this is certainly not the way to get the best results. A well prepared soil with compost, organic BioOcean and a dusting of agricultural lime give them the best start.
They have a long season of bloom and make excellent cut flowers. Sweet peas lend a romantic cottage feel to gardens. They also work well in a vegetable garden, attracting bees and other pollinators needed in the vegetable garden. Sweet peas are climbers bearing clusters of flowers in a wide variety of colours including red, pink, blue, white and lavender. The stems appear folded and the flowers resemble fringed butterflies, selected for their vibrant colours and intense fragrance.Sweet pea vines have tendrils and will attach themselves to most any type of support with meshing or lines. Regular deadheading or cutting for display, will keep them blooming longer. Sweet peas require regular watering, especially as the temperature increases through spring. They prefer a somewhat rich soil and can be fed monthly with Multifeed classic.
Planting guide shortcut!
We recommend you plant them in well prepared soil. Liberal compost and BioOcean organic fertiliser turned over into the soil at least a garden fork deep. Add a handful of Agricultural lime per meter2 over the top and dig again. Level out and plant your seeds after which a thin layer of compost can be spread over the bed. Water daily until the seeds start to show, feed regularly with Multifeed to get the best results.