|Shirley Poppies, sown and watered-in well, with my 'terrier barriers' set up. When ever I freshly dig soil, Fergus and Lydia can help but dig in it, and run around in it. I use tomato cages to discourage terrier mayhem.|
As a follow-up to my post on growing poppies, I thought that I would show you my step-by-step method for sowing not only poppies, but the same method can be used for any annual seed which needs to be sown on-site - those annuals that reject being transplanted, often due to their tap root.
|Poppy seeds are mixed into sharp sand, to help disperse the seed evenly. since I am sowing Shirley poppies, in a small area at the end of a raised bed in my vegetable garden, I don't need many. Here, about a quarter teaspoon to 3/4 of a cup of sand.|
|Seed is mixed into sharp sand.|
I use sharp builders sand, which I buy from Home Depot in 20 lb bags. This is the sand sold for use in laying pavers, but any sharp sand like pool sand, sand box sand can be used. Look for sand that is quartz and is uniform in size ( like coarse salt), since you want the seed to be distributed through it evenly. Obviously, they goal here is to dilute the tiny seed with sand, so that when you sow it, you get an evenly broad casted area, and if you are lucky, very little thinning will be necessary.
The sand and seed mixture is placed into a sieve - look for one with large enough holes, so that the sand, and the seed can pass through.
|Seed and sand mixture is 'sifted' over the prepared bed. Don't worry, the sand washes off of the sieve with a hose.|
Much like sifting flour for a cake, the sand and poppy seed mixture is sifted over the prepared soil. Soil should be dug deeply, and raked clean of debris like rocks, roots a twigs. Most poppies appreciate a soil pH 7.0 to 8.0, and here in our New England garden, my soil in this bed tested at 5.5 ( acid) so powdered lime was dug in before I shot these images. (More on soil testing this week)