I have several packages of mammoth sweet pea seeds. They are a few years old.
I would like to plant them and would like help on when and how please. I was told to soak them before.
I live in Toronto so when would be the right time to plant? Should I sprout them before indoors? Basically I need to know what to do from A-to-Z
I face East … fence faces South.
How nice to be planning for next year’s garden in late November!
It is a good idea to soak the seeds for 24 hours in water that is at room temperature, before planting. This softens the seed coating and should help the seeds germinate.
As sweet peas are slow to germinate, you may have more success if you start them indoors. See Ask a Master Gardener’s When to plant sweet pea for details. Although this question related to planting sweet peas in London, Ontario the last frost date in Toronto is around the same time – May 11-20, so the advice provided in this post is relevant to your garden.
Sweet peas love cool weather, so if you want to sow some of the seeds directly outdoors, you can do so as soon as you can work the soil. Be sure to choose a sunny, well-draining site. If you sow the seeds every 2-3 weeks for a couple of months you will have an extended blooming period.
A final note – you mention that you have had your seeds for a few years. Depending on storage conditions and the plant variety, seeds may remain viable (i.e., they can produce vigorous seedlings) for several years. Chances are higher when they are stored in an environment where there is low humidity and low temperature. I’m not sure how your seeds have been stored – consider testing your seeds (try sowing a few indoors) before the spring. If they produce strong seedlings, that’s terrific, and if not – you can go out and purchase more seeds!