The Q&A Archives: Best time to plant annuals

Question: I have just moved to Oakalnd, CA from the east coast and would like to plant some annuals for color in a small (patio) garden. Please advise what colorful annual seeds and seedlings would grow best outside in pots/trays and when to plant them. I would also like to plant some sunflower seeds on the border of the patio. When would be best for these?

Answer: April is an excellent time to plant flowers and seeds and container gardening on a patio will be a fun project. Be sure to use containers with adequate drainage holes, and fill the pots with potting soil rather than garden soil. You can achieve an almost instant garden by planting Campanula (Bellflower), Coleus, Gentiana, Ligularia, Lysimachia, Primrose, and Pansy. Shasta Daisies will grow well under the partly sunny conditions, as will some Carnations and Snapdragons, if you have some shady spots. For spectacular bloom later in the summer, plant some Dahlias. For even more ideas, visit a local nursery or two. You'll love the variety of plants available on the west coast!

Give the sunflower seeds the sunniest spot possible and plant them now so they'll get a good jump on the summer growing season.

Enjoy your new garden!

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