Answer: In general, while one might plant larkspur in the fall, most seeds would be started in early spring or in the case of some perennials, possibly mid summer. There are several reasons for this. One is that the plants need to reach a certain size in order to stay anchored in the ground through the frost heaving cycles. Another is that annuals generally will not survive a winter once they have germinated. Yet another is that many plants need a warmer soil temperature to germinate and will rot if planted now.
If you wanted to try planting seeds of perennials that require a cold stratification period, you could either accomplish that by putting the seeds in the refrigerator for the required time or by planting them outdoors now. Planting them by direct seeding outdoors however tends to result in reduced germination rates due to weather, animals, soil problems and so on.
To get a jump on spring, you might try planting some bulbs now for spring bloom.
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