Sunday, February 7, 2010

On Blue Poppies, Winter Sowing, and Super Sow Sunday

First of all, let me just get it out there so we know where I stand. I hate football.  I don't really understand the game, but then I've not tried very hard to understand it.  We didn't have football at our school until we consolidated with two other schools when I was a sophomore.  My first encounter with it was when, as a cheerleader, I had to cheer about a game I didn't like.  But I did love my Raiders!

We live close to the Indiana border and Hoosier Hysteria has spilled over into our part of Ohio and has nothing on us.  At Wayne Trace, basketball has been king for a long time.  We've been in the state tournament Final Four three times and won it in 1991.

The last time we were there, we had to play Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary's and that is all that needs to be said around the state, because the school is the alma mater of LeBron James.  He was a sophomore that year and already awesome. We did do a fabulous job though (56-50) - beyond what most expected and our team received a standing ovation as they left the floor.

But, I digress. (See, I told you I love my Raiders!)

Because I'm not into The Big Game, I will be joining others today for Super Sow Sunday.  It's just one diversion that's out there for those of us that aren't into wings and beer and incessant chatter about what the quarterback should have done.  (By the way, did you know that wings aren't really wings?)

It's too early to sow seeds inside for planting later outside, unless you've got a greenhouse and/or plan to transplant them into larger pots when they get too large before you can safely plant them outside. Our average last frost date here is May 15-17 and most seeds are to be started 6-8 weeks before last frost. But you CAN winter sow!

 Ready to go!

Winter sowing is a super easy way of sowing seeds in containers to be set outside now, while it's still freezing cold.  Seeds will germinate and be ready for planting in the garden at the proper time, using Mother Nature's timetable.  For more information about winter sowing, check out my earlier post, showing how I do it.

This year, I'm doing a light version of winter sowing, only planting seeds of one flower.  But oh, what a flower it is! Or should I say a flower I hope to be able to see, when all is said and done.  I'm sowing seeds of the elusive Himalayan Blue Poppy, more specifically this time (fourth time's a charm?), those of Meconopsis baileyi (formerly M. betonicifolia).  I've tried M. x. sheldonii 'Lingholm' and M. simplicifolia before, too.  No luck.

These poppies are notoriously difficult and cranky.  It's almost as if they're saying, "Go ahead, just try me."  They require fresh seeds and cool moist, semi-dark conditions to germinate. Once they've germinated and seedlings have reached transplanting size, they like a shady, cool location.  They detest hot weather.

My friend Jodi (bloomingwriter) has grown these beauties for quite some time now and graciously lets me drool all over my screen at pictures of hers, and bestow many words of admiration and respect upon her Blue Poppy growing prowess.  She does have one advantage over many of us, because she lives in a climate that these poppies love (Coastal Nova Scotia, zone 5b). She has a wonderful post sharing her knowledge, with great tips for growing them, should you want to try, too.

So, today, I'm giving it another go.  I'm hopeful, as always, and won't give up until I've gotten at least one bloom, just so I can say I've done it.

Yes! I can!


UPDATE:  Turns out I have to watch the game anyway. Our son-in-law is there and is working on the field, helping pull up the nets after field goals and extra-point kicks. So, the seeds are planted and out in the cold:


Lisa said...

I have a feeling if anyone can get them to grow it's you, Kylee! Thanks again for sharing your winter-sowing post (I'm eager to see how mine fare)! Here's to SuperSowSunday and wonderful garden friends!

Kylee Baumle said...

Lisa ~ Thanks for your vote of confidence! I agree - garden friends are awesome and have truly helped me through this winter! I'm sure your winter sown seeds will do great!

Diane said...

I just read your winter sowing post. I'd heard about it but I thought it was for people who don't live in the Great White North - apparently I was wrong! I think I have enough on my plate this year but I'd love to try it sometime. It's an extremely cool idea and I find it very appealing. Thanks for the very clear write-up, and I can't wait to see your blue poppies!

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Kylee, I think I'm the only person near Indianapolis that really doesn't like football.

I am sad for the rest of my family who are bummed about the Colts loss though.

I hope you have success with those poppies!

Kylee Baumle said...

Diane ~ Oh, it's especially for us that are freezing up here! The cycles of freezing and thawing help some of the seeds germinate. You've still got some time. I only planted one, so maybe you can try one or two this year?
I'm glad to hear the explanation in my other blog post was clear. That's what I was aiming for!
I hope I DO get poppies! If I do, believe me, the entire gardening world will hear about it!

Robin ~ Both of our daughters married football players and the one that was down at the game, working on the field, was a quarterback at his college (Manchester College in North Manchester, IN). That's where Jenna met him. (She was the Athletic Trainer for the football team her senior year.) So I take a lot of grief for not liking the game, too.
Living where I do, I was a bit biased in favor of the Colts. I got to meet a couple of the players and Tony Dunge when I was training for the half-marathon in 2008, plus our TV stations are out of Ft. Wayne, so this is pretty much Colt country up here, too.
However, the Saints have a great story of getting there and they played with a lot of heart and it worked.
Keep your fingers crossed for my poppies! :-)

Muhammad khabbab said...

I agree with Lisa, if anyone can grow these in this climatic condition, it is only you. With you best of luck.

Layanee said...

So, there was a football game on last evening? That is how I feel about football much to the disgust of my crazed sisters and their spouses. One thing I do like about sports is that it brings all different kinds of people together.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I was really disappointed with the outcome of the game but if the Colts had to lose it was at least to a better team. Nuf said.

I have my winter sowing finished. I like you am hoping for the best. I didn't plant anything as exotic as blue poppies. I hope yours grow. You have the right conditions during winter but those hot humid summers aren't so good for them. It will be intersting to see if they grow.

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Kylee - I haven't done any winter sowing yet and, when I do get round to it, I haven't got anything quite as gorgeous as that blue poppy!

I follwed your link about the Hoosiers Hysteria and had quite a nostalgic chuckle! Many years ago (1981-whah!!)I worked for the Boy Scouts of America for the summer and, in amongst all the other great things I did, I got taken to a basketball game in Muncie - the crowds were going WILD ....but I didn't 'get' it!
I then got taken to a football game (only I was expecting a soccer game, because that's what our football games are - if you see what I mean?!)and I REALLY didn't 'get' that one!! (but I don't like soccer either!)
I think the other Scouting staff considered me a total fail as a trainee American!

Kylee Baumle said...

Muhammad ~ You have an awful lot of confidence in me! I hope it helps just enough! :-)

Layanee ~ I don't hate all sports, but football definitely isn't one of my favorites. I do think sports in general are good for teaching kids (and adults) more than just sports. And you're right, like gardening (that's a sport, isn't it?), it brings all kinds of people together.

Lisa ~ Yes, I imagine all of Indiana is in mourning today. I'm at work right now, which is in Ft. Wayne (I've got a big break at the moment), and the game is a big topic of conversation, but not in the way you might think. We're all talking about the commercials!
You're right, our hot summers won't be good for them, but I do have a great location under that big oak near the patio. The trellis garden always stays pretty moist and is fairly shaded most of the day. We'll see! Gotta get some of those seeds to germinate first!

Nutty Gnome ~ Yes, I can imagine seeing how crazy we can be at a basketball game or football game can be a little strange if you're not familiar with the ins and outs of the game. Muncie isn't all that far from me, maybe an hour and a half to two hours. Did they take you to a high school game or to Ball State University to see one? There can be a big difference in how the fans are at a high school game and a college game. Usually, if the high school is doing well and the school is relatively small, then it's pretty chaotic - in a good way! In my experience, the college games aren't attended as well and the crowds are much quieter. But that's just been my experience. Your mileage may vary!
Don't worry that you didn't get it, you're welcome here anytime! :-)

Sabrina said...

Hey, it's not too early for sowing seeds indoors for the spring veggie garden! If I had gotten my broccoli and cabbage seeds by now, they'd already be started! (I'm expecting them any day now...) I put those out in the raised beds in mid-March (under row covers). But you're right, it's too early for the summer babies.

Good luck with that mecanopsis. We love the look of them, too, but have never been able to get them going for us.

Ramble on Rose said...

This is a fascinating way to stratify and scarify seeds! Thanks for the information!

Unknown said...

I've put on my old cheerleader outfit, which had red, gold and BLUE pompoms. Now, everyone, repeat after me:

Kylee Kylee, We all know
She can get those seeds to grow
She can do it, yes she can
She can do it if anyone can!

Okay, so I'm not a cheerleading poet. But you get the sentiment. You can do this. I'm rootin' for ya, as is half the blogosphere.

garden girl said...

They like SHADE! I didn't know there was a poppy that liked shade, and blue flowers. . . awesome! I definitely need to try some blue poppies. I'm trying winter sowing for the first time this year, except instead of outdoors, my seeds are in the garage. I've used the fridge and the freezer for seeds started in warmer weather that need stratification.

I'm not a football fan either Kylee, but this year I did watch the Superbowl, and rooted for Louisiana. I enjoyed some of the commercials, and decided I could watch the Superbowl in celebration of the end of the football season!

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