Follow these Vital Steps in Properly Cultivating Papaver Somniferum

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The art of growing Papaver Somniferum must be done with great care and sensitivity to ensure the long-term health and endurance of this popular plant.

Planting Papaver Somniferum can be done indoors or outdoors and the most ideal time is in early fall or spring. If you decide to plant in fall the end result will be much earlier blooms the following spring, while planting in spring will end up with summer blooms. Another method is to plant half your poppy seeds in the fall and the remainder in the spring. Even though the most favourable germination temperature is about 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the seeds will still germinate at lower or higher temperatures.

To begin the task of cultivating, simply sow your seeds on the top layer of the loose and moist soil without burying them.

This first step requires that you be wary of insects and animals that may attack these seeds. If you plant it outdoors you will have birds to contend with as they like to eat the seeds. To counter this put up a net above the seeds until they sprout. As an alternative start, you can grow them indoors under lights. To do this properly you need to sow them in Peat Pellets as poppies do not take transplanting well since they have incredibly sensitive root systems. As soon as they sprout, you will then need to add insecticide pellet to prevent slugs from eating them. Make sure to buy ones that are non-toxic and harmless to animals even after dissolving in water.

Cultivating Papaver Somniferum

Maintain moisture in the soil for the initial few weeks until you observe some new sprouts. Then reduce your watering to only every few days. This aids in the new sprouts development to grow a strong root system by forcing them to search for water deep below the surface. In addition, it lowers the chance of the growth of root rot and mold, which Papaver Somniferum is very susceptible to. Remember the key point here is to keep the soil moist not soaking wet.

Moreover, when watering the seeds be very cautious so that you do not wash them, or any new sprouts, away. Do so gently with a handheld spray bottle or drip system that utilize a soaker or drip hoses attached to a timer.

Growing Papaver Somniferum

When you see the sprouts begin to grow the next step is to thin the plants out of least twelve inches apart. The more room you provide them, the larger they will grow. To do this you need to pull up the smallest and weakest ones and leave behind the largest and most healthy ones. This important step will ensure that your flowers and pods per plant are bigger and not just a bunch of weak, single flowered stems. At this stage you can now water them about once or twice a week. However, when you do water, give them a nice soaking to promote strong root growth. Remember to expose them to lots of sunlight in open field if possible.

Papaver Somniferum can flourish in both Alkaline and Acidic soils but the most ideal is a neutral PH soil. That is why organic fertilizers are the best to use in the beginning cultivating stages. These types of soil are rich in Nitrogen for promoting green growth and help loosen compacted soils. After about 6 to 8 weeks of growth you can begin to add high Phosphorus fertilizers, particularly the water soluble kind, to enhance the flowering stage.

Planting Papaver Somniferum

When you are cultivating Papaver Somniferum expect them to bloom in approximately 11 to 12 weeks from the time you plant them. Their petals will fall off after about 2-3 days and the pods will continue to grow for the few weeks. During this period of growing Papaver Somniferum, it is essential not to over-water them unless absolutely necessary. Once pods turn a blue coloured tint with a white film on top, they are ready for harvesting. You have now successfully completed the initial process of planting Papaver Somniferum and have a choice of proceeding to the next step of re-harvesting your new crop.

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