How to mindfully sow sweet peas to give hope for a new year
3 minute read
It’s fair to say 2020’s been a stinker and I know that it soon being a new year isn’t really going to change much in the grand scheme of things. But if we collectively start this year off with hope that things will improve at least we’ll feel like we are doing something useful. And what can be more hopeful than starting seeds.
I always sow my Sweet pea seeds on either New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day as a way to start the year with hope and the promise of growth and this year I invite you to join me.
Here’s the mindful gardening steps I follow for maximum relaxation time.
- A packet of sweetpea seeds
- Some plant markers
- Pieces of damp kitchen towel
- A plate or flat bottomed container
- Pots or root trainers
- Peat free compost
- A pen
- A trowel
- A patch of ground or container filled with compost.
🌱 Take 2 pieces of kitchen towel, dampen them with water and lay one piece on a plate
🌱 Give your packet of seeds a shake, what do they sound like? Can you imagine what they might look like?
🌱 Open the packet and tip them on to your hand. Are they all the same?
🌱 Distribute your sweetpea seeds evenly on the damp piece of kitchen towel and lay the second piece of kitchen towel on top of them.
🌱 Write your plant marker and place on the plate especially if you are sowing more than one variety.
🌱 Place somewhere at room temperature and check every few days to see if any have germinated. Keep the kitchen towel moist.
🌱 Once the seed coats have cracked and about 1cm tip and root are showing they are ready to sow.
🌱 Take a handful of compost and bring it up to your nose, what does it smell like? Does it remind you of anything?
🌱 Fill each pot or root trainer with compost leaving about a 0.5cm gap between the top of the compost and the edge of the container.
🌱 Use your finger to poke holes into the surface of the compost. One hole for root trainers and ⅔ holes evenly spaced across the surface if sowing in 9cm pots.
🌱 Place one seed into each hole and fill the holes with more compost.
🌱 Place your containers in a flat bottomed tray or dish and put in a greenhouse, cold frame or on a cold windowsill.
🌱 Transfer your plant labels.
🌱 Keep the soil moist and once shoots emerge keep turning your containers so the plants don't bend towards the light.
🌱 Once the first two pairs of leaves are fully open, pinch off the growing tip between your thumb and forefinger, just above the second set of leaves.
🌱 Sweetpeas like a lot of water and are very hungry so work lots of homemade compost or manure into the soil where you plan to plant them outside and put up your supports.
🌱 Harden your plants off towards the end of March and then plant out next to their supports.
🌱 As the plants grow, tie them in to the supports to improve flower production and keep them well watered- they are thirsty!
🌱 Keep snipping stems of sweetpeas and the plants will keep producing.
🌱 In around July once you are ready, let the plants produce seed pods, let them dry on the plant and then collect the seed for next year.
If you’d love to give this a go, but you’re worried you don't have time then you need to join my free training series ‘How to switch off through mindful gardening, even if you struggle to find time for yourself’. We’re starting 4th January 2021. You can sign up for it here.