Direct sow, do not transplant. Broadcast seeds on bare soil very early in spring on a day when there is no snow cover. (Tip: to make broadcasting easier, mix seeds with sand.) In warmer climates, seeds can be direct-sown into late fall. Keep soil moist, but not wet, especially when the days begin to warm and the soil is prone to drying out. Poppies can withstand crowding, so only thin if seedlings are very close. Shirley Poppies are slow to start, but should take off once plants are 4 inches high.