Nation of Gardeners results: Sweet Pea Sir Henry Cecil

Sweet Pea variety Sir Henry CecilSweet Pea Sir Henry Cecil is a sweet scented chocolate flake variety and was bred in New Zealand by sweet pea breeder Dr Keith Hammett exclusively for Mr Fothergill’s.

Sweet peas be sown indoors or in a coldframe or greenhouse from September through until March though they need protecting from the frosts during the colder months of winter. This plant grows to a height of 6ft.

Our Nation of Gardeners were asked to sow Sweet Pea Sir Henry Cecil in October 2013 to test autumn sowing against spring sowing.  They will be asked to sow the same variety again in Spring 2014 from a fresh batch of seeds.  The table below charts their progress.

Location Elevation Date planted/sown Date first emerged Notes
Cheshire 49m 14 October 23 October By early November 20 of 23 seeds have germinated successfully
Renfrewshire 28m 13 October 23 October Planted in root trainers and left on bench at window in unheated potting shed.
North Devon 30-50m 18 October 25 October Planted 5 to a pot and placed in unheated porch before being moved to coldframe. 16 of 20 germinated.
Worcestershire 55m 20 October 24 October 100% germination seen by early November, though subsequently some have been eaten.
Derbyshire 39m 18 October 24 October Sown in 9cm pots in garden soil and left to overwinter near house wall outside.
Cumbria 90m 29 October nothing yet!
Ceredigion 131m 12 October 22 October 100% germination
Bristol 55m 14 October 21 October 24 seeds sown. 100% germination. Seeds soaked for two hours in tepid water before sowing five to a pot and placed in cold frame.  By 18 November, they had reached approx 16″ in height.
Suffolk 6m 13 October/20 October 24 October/31 October There were two sowings on 13 and 20 October, both with good germination rates
Hertfordshire 150m 16 October 22 October Sown into windowsill seed tray and placed in unheated greenhouse
Surrey 58m 21 October
Pontypridd 157m 16 October 22 October 20 of 22 have germinated by 13 November.
Buckinghamshire 66m 15 October 22 October
Guildford 56m 16 October Almost 100% germination
Gloucestershire 74m 28 October 7 November Planted into pots in a cold greenhouse
Derbyshire 241m 13 October 23 October Sown x10 in two pots and put straight into coldframe.  By 9 November 50% germination ‘witnessed’, however the seedlings have also been eaten so more may have germinated and been eaten before recording.  16 November sowed x10 more in pots – none germinated by 16 December.  By 6 January, all new coldframe sown seeds eaten by mice. x2 surviving in the shed.


Leave a Reply