Answer: You would plant the seeds after all danger of frost, since these plants do not tolerate cold weather. You would need to prepare the soil by removing grass and weeds, working in some organic matter such as compost, and possibly some additional amendments such as a complete granular fertilizer such as 10-10-10 according to the label instructions. (To know exactly how much to use, you would need to run some soil tests. Your UMASS extension can help you with the tests and interpreting the results.) The soil should be dug down about a foot if possible, and you need to make a nice seed bed by breaking up any lumps and clumps. The seeds would be planted about half an inch down, covered with soil, and watered. After that, water lightly if needed to keep the soil moist until they sprout. Mulch in between the seeds/plants to keep weeds from growing. These are easy to grow plants so you should have good success in a spot with decent soil and sun all day long. For more about how to plant and grow annual flowers you might want to look at a book or two. One I particularly like for its practical approach is "Annuals for Dummies" by Bill Marken, ISBN 0-7645-5056-X. Good luck with your sunflowers!
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