Monday, April 1, 2013

Scattering Annual Flower Seeds in the Perennial Bed

I have been dying to grow poppies for years, but have never had any luck, even when I've purchased the plants from garden centers.  They never do well, and they never grow back the next spring.

One of our instructors at the WMMGA told us how she scatters a variety of seeds in her gardens at this time of the year - late March/early April.  Some of these seeds are annual poppies!

So, using Tracy's instructions, I scattered poppy seeds, cleome seeds and foxglove seeds.  I was hoping to scatter some snapdragon seeds, but I never got around to purchasing any.

Tracy told me that I would have to rake up the mulch so the seed would have contact with the soil, and that I should run the rake over the soil a little bit to rough it up.  So, as I started to rake up the mulch, I realized that I would have to clear away all the oak leaves that had gathered during the end of the fall and winter.

There were actually a lot more leaves than this, but this is all I captured on my camera.  See all the green poking through!  Any way, it took me about an hour to rake up all the leaves.  I got a space among 4 rose bushes and the largest butterfly bush ready for the seeds.  What I didn't realize was how few seeds I would get in each packet, and I only purchased one packet each.  If I'm successful with this venture, I will buy at least 2 packages of each next year.

Tracy reminded us that it's very important to learn what the seedlings of each flower plant looks like, so that they won't be mistaken for weeds and yanked out.  After the seedlings have become a little larger, then we can replace the mulch.

April 7
I looked around the perennial bed yesterday for signs of life, but saw none.  It's been dry.  Our well hadn't been opened yet... I don't know if I was supposed to get out there and water.  I got the impression that you just scatter the seeds and voila!  Instant meadow of wildflowers.  It did rain tonight, and the next few days are supposed to be sunny and warm.

April 9
I scattered some seeds that Lynn Puffer gave me:  moonflowers and cleome.

May 6
Still no signs of life.  I read somewhere that the seeds need soil in order to grow, whereas my perennial bed is mostly mulch.  I did try to rake it away, but obviously not good enough!  Also, I read that foxgloves do best in "dappled shade".  This bed that I picked is in full sun.  Well, back to the drawing board!

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