Papaver Somniferum- what season?

KlashnikovRomanovFebruary 4, 2014

Hey forum! I'm fairly new to this site, so correct me if I'm wrong for posting this in an improper forum, but I have a question that's been eating at me for a while, and I've heard a few opposing views on it.

So I've tried growing papaver somniferum a couple times, I'm a history nerd/buff, and I've been fascinated with growing certain plants that have contributed to/caused such a stir in civilizations (corn, poppies, etc) The fact that the plant that literally started wars is attainable in everyday gardening shops is amazing.

Anyway, in my previous tries I've done as much as I can with the information that I had. Tried to prepare a slightly acidic loamy soil that offers good drainage, not watering profusely, etc. and they've all died shortly after they sprouted. I'm thinking I'm definitely getting the season wrong. To the best of my knowledge I'm growing in zone 7, and I've heard two different seasons that poppies do well in. I've heard planting at the end of the winter, after the last frost works, and I've heard before the winter in September, and they either grow during the winter or they start sprouting after the last frost?

so tl;dr, I need some pointers on the best time of year to plant, and any other pointers for growing the healthiest poppies! Thanks!

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Hey Klash,
First things 1st
Have the seeds you have sown been thru a chill time? Poppies need a chilling off if you plant in the spring, you need to keep the seeds either outside in a dry place, or in the butter compartment of your fridge, over the winter and as soon as the ground thaws and can be worked you can plant, Simplest way is to mix the seed in a handful of sand and just toss it where you want them to grow. They don't transplant well at all.
I'm in the valley zone 6a, the best time to plant here is in the fall. just scatter the seeds before the ground freezes and mix with the sand so the birds don't eat all your seeds.
DON'T cover too deep with dirt no more than 1/8th ". or just press into the dirt. Somni seeds need light to germinate. And they do need to be subjected to cold

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 10:56PM
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