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Poppy Planting Instructions

So you've got your seeds and you're ready to plant them. What's next? 

Is it the right season? Depending on your zone, you'll want to sew your poppies FALL through SPRING. (I like to sew one set per month November through March and keep track of what set does the best each year)

Have you chosen a good spot to plant your seeds? A south-facing, well draining, full sun area is best. 

How is your dirt? Anything you can do to make the soil more delicious and nutritious in the area you're planting will help.  Chicken manure, worm castings, composted hay or straw are a few of my favorites. I also like to mix in peat moss and azalea potting mix along the way.  

Dig your beds deep.  Double dig your beds as deep as you possibly can. Your poppies have a tap root, like carrots. They like to reach their roots as deep as they can. 

If you are opting to plant in pots, use the biggest pots you can find.  20, 30, 50 gallon.  You'll want your poppies to believe they are in the ground.  

You've got your area all prepared.  The soil is rich and your bed is extra deep. Now it's time to think about how you will cover your seeds after you've broadcast them.

 If your garden is anything like mine, seeds don't stand a chance of growing if they aren't covered immediately after sewing.  I use white row cover fabric.  You can find it at most dollar stores or hardware/garden store.  It should be very inexpensive.  At this point get creative.  Find a way to cover your seeds! If you don't cover them they WILL get eaten. 

Once you've sewn your seeds and covered your seeds give them a good sprinkle with hose or watering can.  If you've installed a drip line, let it run for quite some time.

Make sure the area stays moist, but not drenched for the next week to two weeks. 

After they've sprouted, it's time to thin your poppies 

one plant every 8"-12" 

Proper thinning can greatly impact the results of your poppies. Crowded poppy gardens yield smaller plants.

I like to thin slowly. Ensuring extra plants can grow in the event of any number of issues that might come up. Eventually thinning to one plant every 12" when the plants are leafy and well on their way.