growing poppies from seed

Asked February 27, 2017, 1:31 PM EST

I am trying to grow poppies from seed (oriental poppies). I had no luck previously. I have prepared a bed - added peat and mixed it in and turned all of the soil... What is the best way to plant the poppy seeds (especially since they blow away)? When should I plant? What other soil preparation is needed? Can I plant poppy seeds under landscape/weed barrier fabric?

New Castle County Delaware

1 Response

Peat has a tendency to be acidic and may be creating a soil unsuitable for poppies. Poppies prefer a more alkaline soil. I suggest that you begin with a soil test to determine the appropriate amendments for the bed. The bed should be in a sunny location. You can then proceed with sowing the seeds and covering them lightly with soil. Make sure that they make good soil contact (you can pat them gently) and are kept moist but not soggy. Landscape fabric can be anathema in the garden. We do not recommend it generally and especially not in this case. You can find information about soil testing at You can order a soil test kit on line at that website or pick up a kit at the Cooperative Extension Office at 461 Wyoming Road, Newark.