Poppy Seed Starting - Knowledgebase Question

Yorba Linda, CA
Question by dcore
September 9, 1998
How do I start poppy seeds in my garden?


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Answer from NGA
September 9, 1998

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Papaver (poppy) seeds will germinate in soil that's barely warm (55F), so prepare the garden soil by digging and amending with organic material and then sowing the seeds. They'll sprout in 10-30 days, depending upon the outdoor temperature. Start them in the spring, cover the seedbed with a very thin layer of peatmoss, and keep the bed well-watered. After the seeds sprout, thin carefully by cutting the extra sprouts off with scissors. Poppies don't like to be transplanted, so take care in sowing the seed, so that the plants won't be too crowded.

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