August 22, 2009 at 1:25 pm Leave a comment

purple poppy

I discovered this year that poppies can be amazingly easy to grow. In the spring (early May) I sprinkled poppy seeds throughout our gardens in the front and backyard. I was fairly liberal with them, especially in places where we didn’t have much growing already.

They were a smashing success. There was a veritable poppy field growing in the front yard, and for a couple of weeks, I could hear people passing by on the sidewalk exclaiming, “Look at all the poppies!” They were beautiful. They grew up tall and straight, some of them almost waist-high, and the sight of them swaying gently in the wind was a lovely thing to look out on. They’re just about finished now. I’ve cleared them out and hung a couple of bunches of stems with seed heads still intact inside the garage to dry, possibly for an indoor arrangement, or at least to harvest some of the seeds for planting next year. I’m not sure if they are perennial or not. I am sure, though, that the squirrels have done a thorough job spreading the seeds around the yard. Squirrels are incredibly fond of poppies. I’ve seen them perched on a tree stump or in the garden dozens of times now, happily munching away on the seed heads of the poppies after they’ve finished blooming.

To plant: Purchase some seeds, or look for a neighbour or friend who is already growing poppies and see if you can harvest some seeds from their plants. In the spring (May in Calgary), sprinkle them on top of the soil. Do not cover. They will start to sprout as soon as there is a bit of rain. They start out looking like weeds, so be patient. Once the heat comes (late June in Calgary), you’ll see them start to grow a lot faster and then flower. Once the flowering is over, you can just let them die back or snap them off at the base of the plant to hang to dry.


Entry filed under: Gardening, Life, Perennial flowers. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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