Planting Papaver Somniferum Poppies…
..in Late Season or in Hot weather:
Sorry there’s no Photo showing the Sheet of Ice, but this is a Trick I thought up on my own (as far as I know). You simply pour water into a Pirex™ Glass Baking Pan, and put it in your freezer until you have a 2-3 inch sheet of ice. Then, simply put the sheet of ice on top of the Pots, completely covering the pot.
This “Ice Method“ will have multiple uses:
- It will keep your Germination Environment Cool (by acting like a refrigerator)
- It will keep your seeds moist as it melts
- It will allow Light to enter (essential for Poppy Seed Germination)
- It will protect them against Birds, Slugs, and other Pests
If you don’t have a way to make Ice blocks, you can use Crushed Ice or Cubes supported by Fabric instead of Nets.
I like to use a white, porous Garden Fabric which can be found at your local nursery – which can be used for other purposes too, such as Fertilization – replace Ice with Water soluble organic fertilizers such as Bat/Seabird Guano:
FOR ROWS TOO:
Above the Soil:
- To reflect Light back onto the plants
- To retain moisture (which is especially vital when using Pots)
This actually works quite well!!
Below the Soil…
For drainage, add a rock layer to the bottom of the pot, then a Layer of Perlite onto the Rocks until all Gaps are filled. This will support your next layer:
In the Soil…
You can NEVER use too much Perlite. I add tons of it and mix it into my Potting Soil Mix.
Then add potting soil:
Do NOT use Manure, or Heavy Composts in Pots– not with Poppies. Trust me.
Use Twine tied to support Stakes on each end of your Rows. Then lay either Netting, or a Porous Garden Fabric Over your Support String to make a “Tent-Like” effect.
In this case, I used Garden Wire Spiraled down the Row:
AND HERE IS A PIC of how those SAME SEEDLINGS from the POTS are DOING NOW!!:
…AND THAT’S JUST THE FIRST BLOOM FOR THIS ONE!!
IT HAS MORE BLOOMS ON THE WAY!!
You could always wait and Plant Seeds in Fall, but only if your Winters are Mild
(USDA Zones 7b and higher, or anywhere that doesn’t get too much Snow or Freezing Weather)
DON’T CRAM the DAMN POPPIES!!
If you give them the space, they WILL gladly taketh – and then giveth to you, more yield.
Save yourself a Season and take it from someone who’s been growing these every year since 2005.
I tried growing them close together. Only to end up with several weak-stem Single Pod, Top-Heavy Poppies that all blew over the first windy day we had – and being that you need to leave them in the ground and ALIVE to harvest ANYTHING from them for at LEAST 2 weeks after the petals fall, is why you need to continue thinning them until they’re at LEAST 12″ apart (I like to give them 18″ inches)
Here’s an example of a Poppy’s Potential when given Space.
I over-wintered some one year when we had a mild Winter, and here was what I got:
CLICK EACH IMAGE TO ENLARGE
A SINGLE Papaver Somniferum Plant with OVER 75 Blooms and Pods!!
I even took VIDEO of me Counting them all. I will try to find it and Post it soon.
In case you’re wondering what kind it was, they were a: ‘Hungarian Blue’ Papaver Somniferum Poppy (we have have recently SOLD OUT of all SEEDS in STOCK! -until Fall Harvest!)