Saturday, April 16, 2011

When Bad Things Happen To Good Seeds

Sweet Peas are one of my very favorite flowers and I always plant some on a trellis somewhere in my garden each year. The package says you should plant the seeds outdoors six weeks before the last expected frost date for your area.

But I have a terrible time burying those lovely little seeds in soil that is so cold and/or muddy . . . which is the usual state of our soil six weeks before the last expected frost date. That is if the soil has the good fortunate of not being still frozen solid six weeks before the last expected frost date.

That's why my Sweet Peas don't bloom until after mid-summer. I don't plant them early enough.

This year the soil in the raised bed chosen for the Sweet Peas was dry and workable last week. I turned the soil over with my spading fork, smoothed it out with a rake and deemed it suitable for planting. Hooray!

I pulled out the Sweet Pea seeds and soaked them in a dish on the counter for 24 hours to help with germination.

Yesterday I went out and planted them all along either side of the trellis you see in the above picture. This was when there was no snow to be seen in the whole garden area. This was before we got almost three inches of snow last night.

Surely if you do plant Sweet Peas a whole six weeks before your estimated last frost date, they are bound to find themselves in some frosty, inclement (possibly even snowy) weather. Right? So these seeds should be just fine. Right? So I shouldn't worry about them currently being frozen solid and not germinating. Right?

Time will tell. Oi vey.


Erin said...

I think yours have a way better chance than mine! I planted mine the beginning of February and nada, we have the worst time growing them here because it gets too hot too fast. I started some in flats that I then transplanted and they are alive but just won't grow any taller than about 4 inches LOL

Mama Pea said...

Erin - Even though the package directions say that planting directly outdoors is the preferable method, I have started them indoors a couple of times but those never do as well as those that go right into dirt outside. (But I've never had snow on them before either.) We sure don't let rain, hail, sleet, snow, hurricanes, or temperature stop us, do we? (Do you think we're certifiable yet??)

Ruth @ Hope, Joy and Faith Farm said...

I should get my sweet pea seeds in the ground. It is late, but its worth a shot. I love, love, love the smell of sweet peas. Hope your snow melts fast. We are having lots of rain here, the mud hole is back that is our chicken yard.

Mama Pea said...

Ruth - Oh, I know! Anywhere there are animals it's BAAAAD this time of year! We could use a little Sweet Pea aroma now, huh??

meemsnyc said...

I still have yet to plant mine! I am so behind!

Sue said...

Unless you have some extremely "froo froo" type, I wouldn't worry at all. Remember Wild Sweet Peas? Those selfsow the previous year. Some may rot, but the majority will be okay.

We got that snow they called for too-but a WISE WOMAN (ahem) told me that's free (poor man's) fertilizer so I'm not going to curse under my breath. Much.

judy said...

if this weather continues ,i will have cover my yard with silk- did i mention we had our fist skunk of the year----"PEPE LE PEW"

The Apple Pie Gal said...

Errrgh! Seeds and me just do not get along so I feel your pain. However I am very curious to see if they do come up. Fingers crossed.

Jane said...

My mother has a patch that self seeds. They make it every year. That said, my snow peas rotted in the ground because we have had more snow and lots of rain since I planted them March 17. Maybe nature doesn't like us sticking our fingers in her territory.

mtnchild said...

Our very last chance of frost is May 15, but all I toss, literally, is wildflower seeds around the yard in non-traffic areas.

I will follow along with the Sweet Pea saga as I love them too.

Mama Pea said...

meemsnyc - Don't you wish you could do something (change something?) so you didn't feel so behind much of the time? I sure do!

Sue - I was hoping you'd say that about the Sweet Peas! Okay, I've stopped worrying about them now.

Just think of all that lovely snow soaking down into the donkey doo. It will do wonders for your flowers. (Mutter, mumble, grumpf, growl.)

judy - Yikes, the skunks have come out of hibernation? Not good news.

APG - Sue says they'll be okay so that's what I'm going with! :o}

Jane - Well, nature doesn't hesitate to put us in our place now and then, that's for sure.

Yvette - Gosh, I'm kinda surprised to hear your frost date is as late as May 15th. That's getting on par with ours!

Lorie said...

I just love sweet peas, but have trouble with the timing as well. What type of soil do they like? I would get the plants to grow, but no flowers. Thought I might try again this year. It will be interesting to see what happens to those frozen babies.

Mama Pea said...

Lorie - I'm pretty sure Sweet Peas like a neutral pH soil and they do need a lot of sunshine, too. Good luck with yours.

Leigh said...

LOL, that's the gardeners dilemma. Or one of them anyway! I've never planted sweet peas though I think they are lovely. I reckon no matter what happens, you'll learn something about them this year!

Mama Pea said...

Leigh - You're so right, Leigh. We keep on learning (hopefully!) even from our mistakes!