PLANTING & CARE
1) Dig a hole 6" deep and wide enough to accommodate the roots of each of your field grown divisions.
2) Carefully remove each plant from the package and hold it in the hole, gently spreading its root with your fingers. The crown (the point where the roots join together just below the leaves) should be 2" below the soil surface.
3) Carefully fill in the soil around the roots, filling the hole up to 1" above the crown. (The rest of the hole should be filled with soil after the leaves have grown a bit.)
4) Poppies require at least 1" of rain (or equivalent watering) each week until established. After they are established they will be drought tolerant. A 2 to 3" layer of mulch will help conserve moisture and keep beds free of weeds. It will also maintain an even soil temperature.
Apply plant food at a rate of 5 lbs per 100 sq. ft. of garden. It is also for use on seeded plantings. After the seeds have emerged, broadcast general purpose over the desired area at above rate and incorporate into the soil.
You can even start your winter mulch upon transplanting. As a mulched bed retains moisture and also helps keep down the weeds. A 2-4" layer of shredded bark or compost is ideal for this and will also maintain soil temperature.
Keep the area around your plants free of weeds. Weeds compete with all plants for food, water and light. Walk around the garden periodically and pull weeds, including the roots as soon as you see them. Mulch also assists in keeping weeds down.
Remove spent blooms and clip off unsightly or dead growth to maintain the vine in good form and shape. Flowering starts in the summer on new growth. Prune in the spring to within 1' of the ground. This encourages more new growth for summer through fall bloom.
Add 1 tablespoon to soil in hole and mix thoroughly before planting the transplant. Scratch fertilizer at above rate into surface once they start flowering/fruiting. For existing garden, broadcast around existing plants and incorporate into soil at the above rate. Apply at the beginning of growing season and again when plants start to bear vegetables. Every four to six years you can divide your poppies and replant them to make more beds or to share with friends. The best time to do this is in the summer after they go dormant.