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Poppies, potatoes and peas
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 2:28 PM

By Kylee Baumle

In that order, plant them. Potatoes on Good Friday, peas as soon as you can work the soil, but what’s with the poppies, you ask. They’re a summer flower, right? Right. But if you don’t sow the seeds now, you might get a scant crop of bloomers.

There are perennial poppies – Papaver orientale – the big, blowzy flowers you see sometimes along the ditch banks in May. These you usually buy as plants at the nursery, sitting them carefully in your garden because they hate to be moved, and they come back every year.

Another perennial poppy we can grow here are the Icelandic poppies (Papaver nudicaule). These are sweet little things looking like the darling offspring of their Oriental cousins and come in orange, white, salmon, pink and yellow. As perennials, these are short-lived, most times only lasting for a couple of years in the garden, so allow them to self-seed if you want them year to year.