Sweet peas have been on my must grow list for the past five years. As a lovely addition to my vegetable garden, they have become a definite must, year after year. They add so much colour and fragrance to the garden, that I couldn’t imagine not being met by their enchanting appearance and luxurious scent.
In my previous post “Why you Should Grow Sweet Peas“, I shared reasons for adding sweet peas to your garden plans. I also covered the history of sweet peas and walked you through the steps to follow in successfully growing your own.
In this post, I show you how I start my sweet pea seeds in root trainers.
Here’s what you need to plant your sweet pea seeds.
How to Plant Sweet Peas in Root Trainers:
- Root trainers or paper towel rolls
- Seed tray to collect water from below
- Clear plastic dome or plastic wrap
- Seed starting mix
- Fresh sweet pea seeds
- Dibber or pencil (I used my finger)
- small watering can
I used to plant my sweet peas in tall plastic cups, with drainage holes punched through the bottom. They were effective, but since I tried growing them in root trainers, I couldn’t have been happier with the result!
Root trainers are specially designed with vertical ridges, to guide the plant’s roots to grow in a downward direction. In a typical pot, the plant’s roots will grow in a circular direction and eventually wrap themselves around the soil. If the seedling is left in the pot for too long, these roots need to be teased apart or the plant will not properly root in the soil.
In a root trainer, the roots grow downwards and don’t tangle. Upon removing the seedlings from the trainer, they come out gently, the soil is soft and the plant roots are healthy. Seedlings grown in root trainers are very easy to transplant. I prefer to plant my seedlings using a large dibber. Simply push the dibber into the soil, at the depth of the seedling and slide the seedling into the hole. Easy peasy!
Sweet pea seeds do not require heat to germinate. Instead, they prefer to germinate in a cooler environment. Once the seedlings have developed their second set of leaves, pinch the sweet pea leaves off at the second leaf joint. This will encourage the sweet pea plant to produce a bushier habit. Be sure to provide a trellis, when transplanting outdoors, as sweet peas prefer to climb up, rather than sprawl across the ground.
Watch this video, as I show you how to plant sweet pea seeds in root trainers.
Here are the tools that I mentioned in the post.