The Q&A Archives: Germinating Poppy's

Question: I have both Eschscholozia and Papaver seeds and was wondering if the seeds would do better being sown directly outdoors in the garden or should I start them in trays? If they are to be sown outdoors, when should I put them out for Zone 8 region, and do they need to be surface sown or buried beneath the soil?

Answer: Eschscholozia resents being transplanted so seed should be sown directly in the garden. Choose a sunny site with well draining soil and wait until the soil warms up in the spring. Sprinkle the seeds over the top of the seed bed and barely cover with peatmoss (1/4 inch or less). Eschscholozia seeds should germinate in 14-21 days at 60F to 65F degrees. Thin seedlings by cutting the tops off of the extra plants. If you pull them, you may uproot nearby seedlings. Most Papaver's should be sown directly in the garden, as well. These seeds need light to germinate, so sprinkle them atop a well-prepared seed bed and barely press them in with your hand. Keep the seedbed moist, and expect germination in 10-30 days. Thin as above.

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