Sow sweet pea seeds indoors
If you prefer to get started on some indoor gardening during this turbulent weather then there are plenty of seeds to sow now. From sweet peas to sweet corn take advantage of our seed offers to try something new as well as your usual favourites.
The Sunday Times at the weekend had a good article by Rachel de Thame on what to sow now and included one of our lovely new Sweet Peas: Sweet Pea Madison.
This is a striking red variety with a strong old-fashioned perfume. It should make a brilliant colour contrast with paler varieties as well as looking superb in a vase.
Sweet peas are such easy plants to grow from seed that you can have a brilliant display for very little cost. Sweet pea seeds are large and easy to handle. In the past gardeners were told to nick the seeds or rub them with sand paper or soak them overnight to ensure good germination but this isn't really necessary. If you have always done it then carry on, it certainly won't harm the seed but we've tried all these methods and it honestly doesn't seem to make much difference.
If you don't have room to put seed trays or you want a mix of different flower colours then buy sweet peas as young plants instead. They are hardy annuals so they'll cope with winter weather as long as they get a bit of protection from frosts and severe cold. Something as simple as a sturdy cardboard or wooden box with a sheet of perspex or glass on top will make a perfectly good cold frame substitute; or pop your sweet peas into a cool porch.