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As 2021 arrives along with the snow, rain and wind, there is less to do in the garden during this time of year, but as we all look forwards for some hope in the future there are some seeds you can sow. And if you're lucky enough to have a greenhouse, then your options are much broader, Rhino has put together a monthly sowing guide for winter.
Each tiny seed is a little miracle just waiting to happen, and as you nurture what you are growing and feel responsibility as it grows stronger, those miracles bring such hope and joy. So why wait any longer? Towards the end of January through until April, you can sow beautiful Sweet Peas. I love them so much! The colour variations, the fragrance and especially when they are cut for a small vase. Nothing shouts summer cottage garden like the beauty of Sweet Peas. Some of my favourites are ‘Promiscuity’ with its bicolour flowers and ‘Prince of Orange’ which is both wonderfully fragrant and rare as well.
They grow best in root trainers which allow the long roots space to shoot downwards and establish well. An alternative to a root trainers is a cardboard roll, such as the ones in the centre of a toilet roll, so save them up as they are perfect. If you end up with lots of them, you can also cut the rolls in half and use them for sowing many different seeds.
The Sweet Pea seeds can be soaked in water before sowing but I have never done that in many years of growing them and they’ve always germinated really well. Pop them in some well drained compost about 1cm deep, cover over with compost and keep moist. The perfect place to keep them before you harden off and plant out, is in your Rhino Greenhouse! Alternatively a warm windowsill will do. If you'd like a more in-depth guide to Sweet Pea sowing, Fran Phillips put together a detailed article back in the Autumn.
As those tiny shoots appear, they will fill you with joy and excitement for the growing year ahead, giving something to look forward to and reinforcing that whatever is happening in the world, the garden will still grow.
To read more about Ellen Mary, you can find her on social media and on her website - https://www.ellenmarygardening.co.uk/