When is best time to sow annual poppy seed in zone 9?

Greg(z8, San Antonio)October 3, 2010

I would like to try growing some annual poppies from seed for the first time this year. I am in New Orleans -- zone 9. The heat and humidity of summer has finally broken, so the fall gardening bug has bit! Is it too early to sow annual poppies here? Would it work to sow them now for winter/early spring bloom, or do I need to wait later -- until next month or so? Anyone in this zone who has experience with growing poppies from seed.... your input will be most appreciated!

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the time from sowing seed till flowers is 15-17 weeks you do the math

    Bookmark   October 3, 2010 at 9:42AM
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Well for a more courteous answer, LOL.

Here in zone 7 my little neighbor that has beautiful poppies each and every year says to direct sow them in February. So for you in zone 9 I would say if you are wanting the blooms in the spring you could probably direct sow yours in January or still even in February. Also how she recommends direct sowing them is by tossing them on the ground where ever you are wanting them then lightly press. Now I will also mention her area is amended so she isn't just tossing them on bare dirt.

If you were to go by the guidelines stated above it would make no sense, each plant has various germination rates. Various time from germination to bloom. Not all plants are the same.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 8:54AM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

stross, with your heat + humidity, you may want your poppies blooming early while still cooler. Direct sow in Fall in Z9. Using the above math (still makes sense to count), you might want to wait until after Halloween. In my Z8 where I will have some occasional freezing temps, I sow Nov, Dec, again in Jan or Feb - about three sowings for a longer succession of blooms. While keeping in mind it isn't hot enough here to spoil the plants as will happen later in the season in your zone, if you have adequate seed you might consider sowing more than once at three week or so intervals.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 3:14PM
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Greg(z8, San Antonio)

Thanks for the responses! morz8, I think I will try your "sowing more than once at three week or so intervals" to see how that works. countrycarolyn, I will follow the "lightly press" method you recommend! :-)

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 9:44PM
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To be honest stross I never thought of doing that to have longer blooms, so I may try that also. It is a good idea!!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 8:36AM
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