This is the first year that we've grown poppies. Poppies don't like their roots being disturbed so we thought we'd try a few different planting methods; sewing into cell trays, planting them directly into the ground and sewing into guttering which we had cut in half. We had pretty varied success!
We followed Sarah Raven's advice on 'sowing seeds into gutterpipes'. This technique didn't work at all for us. We must have done something wrong as she says it's a great method. Perhaps we didn't make enough holes for the drainage as lots of the seedlings rotted. In the end i think we had only 3 seedlings from 4 pipes with about 100 seeds in them! Sewing into the cells was pretty hopeless too.
It was direct sewing which actually worked. However the seeds took ages to appear and in that time we had decided that nothing was going to grow so we filled the bed with scabious instead. I'm sure you can imagine what happened next....we had a very beautiful mess on our hands. Our scabious went mad and so did the poppies, both growing vigorously. Scabious are incredibly windy and tangly and the poppies grew all around them, in between and practically on top of them.
So, harvesting our poppies has been a bit of a challenge this year but as always we have learnt a lot. Next year we will dedicate a whole bed to them and try to be a little more patient!
Some of our favourite poppies this summer....