Every fall, Canadians wear poppies to commemorate Remembrance Day to reflect on all the fallen soldiers who gave their lives in the line of duty. It’s also a time of year that reminds us to start planting our poppies. These stunning, vibrant flowers make any garden pop, and they’re easy to grow. If you’re gearing up for some poppy planting this fall, here are some things to consider.
Poppies are very hardy flowers. All they need is sun and some well-drained soil, and they will grow happily. The key to poppy planting in the fall is to keep the flowers moist but not too wet. So finding an area that has a little bit of shade where the soil can stay moist and rich is important.
Thanks to cultivation over the years, there are many different colours and varieties of poppies that you can plant in your garden. The Oriental poppy, for example, produces bright orange-red flowers and newer varieties like coral reef poppies produce pale pink flowers that make a stunning addition to any garden.
Simple Planting Process
Poppies can grow on slanted land, so you don’t have to be too concerned about the slope or level of the landscape. Once you have found an area that receives adequate light and moisture, use your garden spade to create a loose soil area of roughly 3 inches deep. Then sprinkle the poppy seeds directly onto the soil about 5 to 10 inches apart. Lightly sprinkle the soil over the seeds to only about a quarter of an inch deep, so they are just barely covered.
Right after you plant the seeds, ensure that there is enough moisture to keep the seeds wet but not soaked. You may wish to add a fertilizer if your soil is lacking in nutrients, but this isn’t often required in Canada. Poppies are resistant to most diseases and insect pests so you won’t need to add a pesticide unless they are being bothered by bugs and animals.
Keep your poppies covered in the winter with a protective layer to prevent them from freezing and thawing, which could damage the plant. When the last frost ends in spring, you can remove your protective layer and monitor the land condition to ensure the moisture is adequate.
Poppies are perennials that will produce a burst of colour in the late spring and early summer. Once the petals start to fall off leaving the stem and black pods behind, the pods will crack open. You can collect the seeds from inside the pods for replanting in the spring and use any remaining seeds for muffins, salads, and other delicious foods.
Poppies make a beautiful addition to any garden space. If you need lawn or garden care during the fall to prep your garden bed for planting, give us a call! At Hansen Lawn and Garden Ltd., we offer experienced, professional lawn care and garden maintenance services – all year long!