Have you ever considered growing poppies in your garden? These beautiful flowers can be seen in many places in Spain. Its characteristic red color stains entire fields. If we like them, why not enjoy them in our home? For this it is essential that we know how to sow poppy seeds
In this article we will not only explain how to do it step by step, but we will also comment on when is the best time to carry out this task. Also, we will say What can poppy seeds be used for?
Table of Contents
When are poppy seeds sown?
Before explaining how to sow seeds of poppy, we must first know when is the best time to do it. It's important to put attention on need a period of stratification, if not, they will not be able to germinate. And this means? Well, for germination to occur, these seeds must first be exposed to frost and cold.
Generally, a good time to spread them is in early spring. At this time it is still quite likely that the occasional frost will fall. In the event that we live in a place where the summers are relatively mild, it is best to spread the seeds during the fall. In this way we ensure that they are well exposed to low temperatures before the germination season begins.
How long does it take for a poppy seed to germinate?
Another question that also tends to interest us a lot when we are considering planting a vegetable is how long it takes to germinate. In the case of poppies, if the planting has been done correctly and has suffered some frost, germination time normally ranges between two and four weeks. How long they can take to germinate will depend on the variety and environmental conditions.
How to sow poppy seeds step by step
Now that we know when to sow poppy seeds, let's discuss how it's done. It can be said that these flowers do not tolerate transplants very well. For this reason, it is always best to sow them using seeds, instead of buying seedlings that have already germinated. Common poppy seeds can usually be purchased at any garden store. Now let's see how to plant them step by step:
- Choose the planting site: The vast majority of poppy varieties prefer to be located in full sun, so any place with little shade will do well. The quality of the soil must also be taken into account. Many varieties of this flower do well in barren soil and rocky terrain, but others do need rich soil. To the latter we will have to contribute some allowance.
- Loosen the ground: Once we have chosen the site, we have to loosen the earth. To sow poppy seeds it is not necessary to make holes, they are simply spread over the surface. When preparing the ground, it is enough to loosen it a little with a rake, no more than two and a half centimeters. If we plow the land too much, the plant will have a harder time growing.
- Spread the seeds: With the newly removed earth, it is time to spread the seeds on top. Wild poppies drop their seeds and the wind spreads them well. So we just have to leave them where they fall.
- Regar: Finally, we only have to water. The best way to do this is by simulating rain. It is important to keep the area where we have planted the poppies moist, but without flooding it.
Care after sowing
After sowing the poppy seeds, it is essential to provide them with certain care so that they grow and develop correctly. First of all, it is very important thin the poppies. In this way we help them grow and produce more flowers. It is a task as simple as cutting the upper part of the plant with disinfected scissors, so we do not disturb the roots of the other poppies. Whenever we see seedlings, we can remove them so that the flowers have more space to grow. The space that should be between each specimen depends on the variety of poppy. Although it is true that this is not essential, it will help the flowers and the appearance of the plantation.
Another fundamental aspect for the correct care of poppies after planting is Cut the flowers when they start to bloom. This way we will be able to keep the flowering of our poppies active. Of course, in summer we must let them form their seed pods. When this happens, the flowers fall off, but the pods will still be on the stem. If we want, we can harvest the seeds and plant them again in the next season. In the event that we have planted poppies with edible seeds, we can use them in the kitchen.
Obviously we cannot forget about irrigation. This should be moderated once the poppies are already established. Most varieties don't require much water once they've grown a bit. It's more: Excess water can cause stem overgrowth, giving it an unattractive appearance. Therefore, the rules of watering poppies are as follows:
- Before and during flowering: Moderate watering and with some regularity.
- After the flowering period: Water only when the soil has dried out.
Uses of poppy seeds
Poppy seeds are mainly used for plant more flowers, to make infusions and in the bakery and confectionery. Their consumption is very healthy, as they contain calcium, unsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants. Thus, the infusions made with these seeds can have a relaxing effect, which helps in times of anxiety. In addition, it facilitates expectoration when we have a cough or cold.
At a culinary level, it is more common to use poppy seeds for making biscuit dough, buns, cakes and bread. Although it is true that here in Spain it is not seen much, in other European countries, such as Germany, they are widely used for these purposes.
So now you know: If you dare to grow poppies, you can search the internet for recipes with these delicious seeds. But beware, not all varieties of poppies give edible seeds.