Botanical Interests asked me to submit three tips about poppies and my photo to put in their catalog. They only used one of the tips, but there I am on page forty-five.Botanical Interests sells several kinds of poppies, including one of my favorites, ‘Lauren’s Grape’. One year their supplier of ‘Lauren’s Grape’ had a crop failure, and I offered to send them my saved seed so they could grow some on. Who knows? Maybe their current ‘Lauren’s Grape’ seed offering is from descendants of the seed I shared.
As I said, they asked me for three tips, but they only printed one in the catalog, so I thought I’d share all three tips here with you.
1Poppies are so easy to sow! Just scatter them onto the ground where you want a burst of spring color. To make sure you get even coverage try this: Evenly mix a cup of play sand with a packet of poppy seeds. Put the mixture in a repurposed shaker cheese can and sprinkle away. The sand helps spread out the seeds and show you exactly where they are. (This is the tip that’s in the catalog.)
2 Poppies like a bit of cold to germinate. In cold climates that means sprinkling them on bare soil where I want them to grow during mud season, or any time before the last frost. And that means I need to weed the area where I want to sow them the previous autumn! In warmer climates sow in late autumn. Snow on the little seedlings doesn’t seem to hurt them, and they get a head start in spring. You will surely have blooming poppies before me.
3 Papaver somniferum varieties, such as ‘Lauren’s Grape’, can be deadheaded for repeat bloom. Follow the stem of the spent bloom down to the first set of leaves and cut the stem just above those leaves.
Because I like Botanical Interests seeds so much, I became an affiliate a while back. If you click on a link to their website from here and then order, I will get a small commission. Don’t forget to check out their poppy section–they have thirteen different kinds!