23 February 2016

Tiny Seedlings - Poppies Cold Started Outside

On a Facebook international seed swap I trade seeds with a gardener in Sweden. We exchange seeds harvested from our own gardens, usually during the winter months. For her, the goal is to get my zone 7 seeds planted before her zone 6a soil is frozen solid.

Here, I winter-sow her seeds. Her semi-double purple poppies were planted in one of my gallon jug winter sown containers on 12-26-15 and they popped up last week.

When they were up and starting to grow true leaves, I moved the container into our heated shed, opened the top and let them sit in warmer temperatures in the sun for several days.

The next step is to gradually move them into individual cells.

The cell tray on the left holds just under 100 tiny containers. Each cell was filled with sterile potting soil and then put into a bottom watering tray to soak up water over night.

I used Popsicle sticks to separate the tiny seedlings and carefully put them into holes in the new soil that I made with a pencil. Then, more damp - not wet - soil is pressed around the seedlings to ensure contact.

It's a slow, careful process but next summer we'll have our own purple poppy seeds!

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