When is the best time to plant seedlings for good germination rates, optimal growth and overall health of the plants?
The answer to this question depends on many factors. Here are some general guidelines for growing hardy annuals:
For cold-tolerant annuals (e.g., marigolds, petunias), spring or fall is usually recommended; either one will do—there’s no advantage in doing it any other way. If you choose to grow them in pots indoors during winter months, make sure they receive plenty of sunlight; most children find that an easy thing to accomplish! If you want large numbers of seeds produced each year (harvesting at least 50% more than what was planted), plant them about two weeks after danger of frost has passed. The less robust varieties can be started several weeks before the last frost date if there is adequate light exposure until they begin actively growing after all danger of frost has past. For spring-flowering annuals like violas and verbena, I recommend starting these flowers three weeks after your average first killing frost dates outside your home region because these flowers bolt once frost hits their site anyway but won’t bloom until late summer or early autumn unless sufficient food supply remains available into midwinter when temperatures become cool again with minimum risk of damage from low temperatures that may occur between August and November in a northern hemisphere location near 40° north latitude where summers remain warm enough for grown