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winter sowing poppies question

Gent, Belgium(Zone 8a)

As my garden is too shady for poppies, I would like to grow some annual poppies in containers to put on my terrace where they would get enough sun.
I know that poppies hate it to be transplanted, so I guess I should sow them straight away in big enough containers where they can stay.
But in what type of soil should I sow them ?
Do I use the special soil mix for sowing that is very little fertile and that might give the result of hungry poor-looking poppies or do I use normal potting soil that could give the risk of burning the young seedlings ?
Has anyone experience with this ?

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

You can wintersow in any soilless potting mix. Most WSers seem to use Miracle Grow or Pro-Mix. Some claim that the really cheap brands don't work well, but I haven't tried any of those. I've only used Miracle Grow and Pro-Mix and they were both fine.

Karen

Gent, Belgium(Zone 8a)

Thank you Karen, but you see I live in Belgium, Europe, and I cannot get Miracle grow nor Pro-Mix over here. I suppose it must be similar to the special soil they sell over here to use for sowing and cuttings.

What I meant is that if I may not transplant the poppy-seedlings, they would have to stay in a poorly fertilized soil all their (short) lives, undernourished because special mixtures for sowing contain little or no fertilization.

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

First, seedlings don't need fertilizer until they develop true leaves. Until then everything they need will be supplied by the seed leaves. If your containers are outside in the weather, chances are that much of the fertilizer in a seed starting potting mix will have leached out of a container by then. You just start adding a weak fertilizer after the seedlings have developed true leaves. It does not have to be in the potting mix.

I would recommend a good potting mix that is readily available to you. People only seem to report problems with really cheap off brand types.

Second, "who says you can't transplant poppies?" Have you read this thread?
http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/687072/

Karen

Gent, Belgium(Zone 8a)

Dear Karen, thank you so much for that link, it explains everything I had to know!

Thank you also for your patience, and I really can imagine how tyring it can be if you always have to deal with the same misconceptions, like I also had, that poppies are supposed to be unforgiving when transplanted.

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

bonitin: Poppies can be unforgiving about being transplanting after they are large and/or the weather is hot. The trick is to transplant early (they are very cold hardy) before your weather is warm enough for most plants. I'm not sure when that would be in your climate, but probably way before your last frost date.

Also, they have to be small, before that big taproot becomes a problem. If you transplant when they are tiny, with only 1 or 2 sets of true leaves, they will be very tiny. Maybe only about 2 inches tall. At that point the roots are still small.

Good luck and enjoy. You will have beautiful poppies.

Karen

Gent, Belgium(Zone 8a)

Thanks a lot! I really got it now !

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