A Nest for All Seasons A Nest for All Seasons: Planting Seeds in Piles of Peat

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08 June 2011

Planting Seeds in Piles of Peat

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Poppies are the bane of my existence.  I love them, adore them, WANT them.  Back in Nebraska, I would drive down Sheridan Blvd, and every spring, there was this house with piles upon piles of perennials. Big, strong, green plants and right in the middle of it all was this explosion of orangeish red poppies all clustered together almost as if it were meant to be framed.  I immediately went home and googled and googled and googled until I found out that the plants were oriental poppies.

So, I got some seeds, planted them and of course nothing happened because it was the end of spring by that point and any poppies that did grow were quickly covered in weeds.

Cue year #2.  I purchased pack after pack of beautiful poppies like Lauren's Grape and the Breadseed Poppy and White Linen Poppy and California Poppies and Iceland Poppies.  Of course, this was the spring that I planted everything in pots in our townhouse, so while they poppies grew, the blooms were literally about the size of a dime.  A DIME.  They were so tiny because they were oversown in medium sized containers.  FAIL.

This year, I prepped a bed that I plan to sequence every year through daffodils, poppies and then daylilies.  An easy bed for the most part, and I am pretty certain that I have poppies growing, but I am not sure, so to ensure success, I planted some more poppy seeds in these piles of peat. 

I have 2 fail safe methods for sowing seeds that are difficult to start, or seeds (like poppies) that are unfamiliar to me in their seedling state.   The first is to plant the seeds in a HEELED IN POT, so that the seeds stay moist in the buried pot, and I can find my new seedlings easily.  The second is to simply dump a little pile of peat on an established bed.  It visually creates a reference point so I know exactly where to check for new seedlings, and unlike stakes, the peat covers a large enough area for several seedlings.  The peat will eventually work its way into the soil, but will last as a pseudo-mulch on top of the soil at least long enough for the seedlings to germinate and be easily identifiable.

Yes, you are seeing a lot of weedy grass in this bed...this is my 5th battle and there is improvement...really...just hard to see :)


Do you have any tricks for sowing seeds in established beds?  How about poppy tricks?!?!?

2 COMMENTS:

Toqua's Crafts Thursday, June 09, 2011  

I don't have any tips or tricks to share with you about poppies. The first house I ever bought had an oriental poppy already established in the yard. I LOVED that plant! They have gorgeous blooms!

Best of luck! I hope you're successful this year!

Blessings!

grace Friday, June 10, 2011  

I use to be an avid gardener and even studied horticulture in college but I let my husband do this now as it seems that there are so many thing to do.
I'll ask him if he has a trick which I'm sure he does.
Have a great day and got your covered from Twisted Scavenger.

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