I have chased away my rainy day blues by envisaging the cheerful pots of sweet peas that will hopefully grace my garden this summer. There were so many varieties to choose from in my garden centre; whole racks of pretty seed packs with romantic names such as ’Romeo and Juliet’, ‘Turquoise Lagoon’ and ‘Northern Lights. I asked the young man in the shop which sweet pea he felt would suit me best, hoping he would suggest; a tall, leggy and beautiful, pale and interesting, or perhaps delicate and unusual variety.
However he took one look at me and advised; ‘Madam you need something small and simple, I suggest dwarf patio mix.’ Not quite so romantic sounding. Still, perhaps it is important to identify with your plants.
Grandpa Haxnicks tells me proudly that Deep Rootrainers are just the thing to give my sweet peas the best possible start and other gardening experts seem to agree. Sweet Peas have a deep, sensitive root system and they don’t respond well to disturbance (the more I learn about them the more I identify with them). Rootrainers are shaped to encourage strong healthy root formation, and open like a book for easy transplanting without damaging the roots. I filled the Rootrainers with compost, giving the tray a bump to settle the contents, then gave the cells another top up and a sprinkling of water…then a splash…then a deluge (note to self: remember to tightly screw on watering can hose). I replaced the drenched compost then sowed the seeds, one per cell, a centimetre deep and topped with compost. I have put on the propagating lid to protect the seedlings from uninvited pesky visitors such as mice, chickens, snails and heaven forbid garden gnomes