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Autumn Sown Garlic and Sweet Peas

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 I am a bit of a fair weather gardener and I don't grow much over the winter, but this year in Autumn I germinated some sweet peas and planted garlic both under glass in the greenhouse. The sweet peas germinated quickly and have grown well, presumably because of the mild winter, and have been pinched back 3 times producing a good number of side shoots. The image left was taken at the end of Feb and you can see further new growth on the tips of the plants;  they are now in March growing so much I will have to plant them out shortly as they are becoming too tall for the root trainers and flopping over. As sweet peas are a half hardy annual, although then can be planted out now, and in this case will  have to be, they will need frost protection. This means protecting with a fleece or cloche if there is to be a frost.

The garlic sulked in the pot in the greenhouse for so long I thought it was succumbing to winter mould and then the shoots went up and it has seemed very happy in the greenhouse. I have just moved the container  outside to harden off and acclimatise  to the outside temperatures  prior to planting out later in the month. Anything grown under glass, which will include much of the veg plants, and bedding will need to be hardened off, before planting outside permanently. This can be done by moving the plants outside on mild days and gradually getting the plant used to the outside, but still bring under glass if frost threatens. Check carefully before planting out as most bedding, and many veg plants, are not hardy and can only be planted out once the risk of frost has passed which is  in May, and when in May depends where you garden and the weather at the time.

From the garlic I am  hoping the longer growing season produces fatter bulbs and a better crop. The sweet peas I am hoping will bloom earlier and, as I have just sown some more sweet peas yesterday, the spring sown should bloom later giving a long period of sweet pea flowers. I plant sweet peas on mass up an obelsik near a path so  the mass of colours and scent are head hight as passing. I also plant them around the garden and near the veg plot so I can enjoy the scent and colour when in the veg plot. Sweet peas look good on their own and also with Honeysuckle and Clematis.


Autumn sown Sweet peas grown under glass


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