Poppy seeds: how to sow them and what are their uses

Poppy seeds are easy to sow

Have you ever thought of 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 love them, why not enjoy them at 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 also comment on the best time to perform this task. Also we will say What can poppy seeds be used for?


When are poppy seeds sown?

Poppy seeds are sown in early spring

Before explaining how to sow poppy seeds, we must first know when is the best time to do so. It is important to pay attention to need a stratification period, otherwise, they will not be able to germinate. And that means? Well, for germination to occur, these seeds must first be exposed to frost and cold.

Generally, a good time to broadcast them is In early spring. At this time, it is still very likely that occasional frosts will fall. If we live in a place where the summers are relatively mild, it is best to sow the seeds in the fall. This way we ensure that they are well exposed to low temperatures before the start of the germination season.

How long does it take for a poppy seed to germinate?

Another question that also tends to be of great interest to us when considering planting a vegetable is the germination time. In the case of poppies, if the planting has been done correctly and has suffered a few frosts, germination time normally varies between two and four weeks. The germination time will depend on the variety and the environmental conditions.

How to sow poppy seeds step by step

There are different varieties of poppies

Now that we know when to sow poppy seeds, let’s discuss how it’s done. We can say that these flowers do not tolerate transplants very well. For this reason, it is always better to sow them with 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:

  1. Choose the planting site: The vast majority of poppy varieties prefer full sun, so any place with little shade will do. The quality of the soil must also be taken into account. Many varieties of this flower do well in barren soils and rocky terrain, but others need rich soil. To the latter we will have to bring fertilizer.
  2. Loosen the soil: Once we have chosen the site, we need to loosen the soil. For sowing poppy seeds, it is not necessary to make holes, they are simply spread on the surface. When preparing the soil, it is enough to loosen it a little with a rake, no more than two and a half centimeters. If the soil is plowed too much, the plant will have more difficulty in growing.
  3. Spread the seeds: With the soil freshly removed, it’s time to scatter 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.
  4. Water: Finally, we only have to water. The best way to do this is to simulate rain. It is important to keep the area where we planted the poppies moist, but without flooding it.

Maintenance after planting

After sowing poppy seeds, it is essential to give them some care so that they grow and develop properly. First of all, it is very important thin the poppies. This way we help them grow and produce more flowers. It is as simple a task as cutting off the upper part of the plant with disinfected scissors, so as not to disturb the roots of other poppies. Whenever we see seedlings, we can pull them out so the flowers have more room to grow. The space that must exist between each specimen depends on the variety of poppy. While it is true that it is not essential, it will promote flowering and the appearance of the planting.

Related article:

Poppies: complete instructions

Another fundamental aspect for the correct care of poppies after planting is Cut the flowers when they start to bloom. In this way we will be able to keep the flowering of our poppies active. Of course, in summer, you have to let them form their pods. When this happens, the flowers drop off, but the seed pods will still be on the stem. If we want, we can harvest the seeds and replant them the following season. In case we have planted poppies with edible seeds, we can use them in the kitchen.

Obviously, we cannot forget irrigation. This should be moderate once the poppies are already established. Most varieties don’t need a lot of water once they’ve grown a bit. It’s more: Excess water can cause excessive stem growth, giving it an unattractive look. Therefore, the rules for watering poppies are as follows:

  • Before and during flowering: Watering moderate and with some regularity.
  • After the flowering period: Water only when the soil is dry.

Uses of Poppy Seeds

Poppy seeds are used in baking and confectionery

Poppy seeds are mainly used for to plant more flowers, to make herbal teas and in bakery and confectionery. Their consumption is very healthy, as they contain calcium, unsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants. Thus, infusions made with these seeds can have a relaxing effect, which helps in times of anxiety. In addition, it facilitates expectoration in case of cough or cold.

At the culinary level, it is more common to use poppy seeds for making cookie dough, rolls, cakes and bread. While 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.

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