Having never before pinched out the tip from a sweetpea seedling, I felt a huge sense of fear at the thought of breaking away the growing tip from the rest of the seedling. What if I pinched the wrong part? What if I didn’t make a clean break and instead damaged the rest of the remaining seedling? I have to admit, I even sent a quick message to my Mum to make sure I wasn’t about to cause my first homegrown sweetpeas to wilt on the windowsill.
Once I had confirmation that I was indeed doing the right thing, I proceeded (with caution) and started to pinch away the tips, right down to the first set of leaves. It felt like I was mutilating an innocent plant, but I knew that it was the best thing to do. My seedlings had become too tall too quickly, with very few leaves, the cause of this was likely to be the windowsill I had placed them on, which was just above a radiator. It seems a nice cool windowsill is the best place for sweetpeas to have a steady start to life. After pinching out the tops (and apologising to the poor remaining, much shorter shoots) I moved the tray to a windowsill away from heat, but still with sunlight. I’ve got my fingers crossed that this early intervention will help to make for stronger plants in the future, as I am really looking forward to filling vases with lots of sweetpeas this summer!