Thursday, 28 May 2009

Pricking out Poppies

This is one of my small forays into teaching proper gardening stuff. There are billions of books, websites and blogs that will do this better, but I am rather proud of myself here so please indulge me. Andrew didn't help me with this (if you know me at all, you will realise that is a HUGE deal)!

My visit to Mary's plot ended with her bestowing me with a big handful of Poppy seedlings from her flower border, lifted straight out of the ground with her own bare hand! Well you could have blown me over! I love poppies and although she has no idea what type or colour they are (they were a present to her as seeds) we are both excited to see what happens.
Mary had just plonked them in a pot (she's more confident at gardening than me) and I rushed over to 24a to do something with them. Now the problem was I didn't have any idea where I wanted them yet; I hadn't planted up my flower bed in 14b at this time and still hadn't thought about the little flower patches in 24a properly. So I did what any self respecting 'gardener' would do - I pricked them out and potted them on. That's the correct terminology, right?

Here is how I did it, in a photo story form....

I believe it is super important to firm the soil down in the tray before you start. Then no fancy 'dibber' for me, I am but a humble apprentice and a pencil works wonders, you make holes for the seedlings' roots and firm them in. I think watering the soil before I transplanted the seedlings was pretty pointless, as I watered them in after too. So I scrapped that part when I did it again, this time into singular modules.

I may give these away to a lucky person, 4 here, 6 there; I don't know. Thing is I had so many and had to throw away about 10 other seedlings as I just didn't know what to do with them all! A handful is a lot I now realise.

However, there you are, a lesson in horticulture from me to you, with love.


  1. Gardening is great for sharing, isn't it? And I do love poppies. Maybe you could put me on a plane and I'd drop by to get some of your extras. It's only a short jaunt from Canada to Ireland -- easy peasy, right?

    Tip: sometimes you can be a guerilla gardener with your extras, and pop them in some sad nearby corner. Every time you pass when your poppies are in bloom, you'll have a secret smile.

  2. Now to me that just proves you're a real gardener - I still can't throw any seedlings away and they sit in pots until they are too big and die - a much crueler (sp?) death than chucking when they are tiny!

  3. Helen - you can surely have the extras, but only if you put ME on that plane over to Canada, hahaha. I think I'll do the guerilla gardening, someone else did it with tulips and it was lovely to see their sweet faces in the hedgerow. I think it's a great idea!

    Michelle - wow, me, 'a real gardener', thank you!!!! Yep, chucking them away when they're only babies does seem so cruel and you never know, some one could need them, you could find a space for them or like Helen says, there's always guerilla gardening!


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