This year, it seems mandatory for any lifestyle article to include tips on “how to save money.” The gardening industry is no exception, and one of the things that people tout to save money is starting your ornamental plants from seed. Most articles claim that it is “cheap and easy”. I won’t argue with “cheap”, but I’m beginning to add a big mental asterisk to “easy”. As in: “Starting things from seed is cheap and easy”*
*As long as you have exactly the right spot, sow the seeds exactly the right way, and don’t mind re-sowing three or four times. Oh, and those lovely pictures of fields of waving flowers on seed packets? Sometimes seed packets lie. (I know! There should be a law!)
This summer, I’ve been frustrated by poppy flowers. I love poppies of all kinds and in all stages of development, and only recently did it occur to me that I could buy some seeds and plant them in my garden! How exciting! It will be cheap and easy!
Two months after sowing: only a few scraggly seedlings. But, but, but! I did everything on the packet! Where are my fields of waving California poppies? Fortunately for my disappointment, I ran across a blog post by one of our authors, Tracy DiSabato-Aust.
She lists the Oriental poppy as one of her top 50 best plants, and gives some tips on how to grow them. She says to try a large quantity of seeds – ½ a pound or more - and to try direct-sowing the seeds in February or March.
This is good to know for my gardening plans for next year – now I just have to find out where to buy poppy seeds by the pound. Bagel stores?
Chani West-Foyle, Marketing Associate