Answer: Plant your Zinnia elegans seeds in a sunny location. A minimum of six hours of sun is a must for nice blossoms, and full sun all day is best. Zinnia's don't transplant well so plant seeds where you want them to grow. Work the ground before planting to a depth of 6-8 inches to allow for good root development and stronger plants. Mix compost or well-rotted cow manure into the bed prior to panting. Plant seeds 1/4 inch deep and keep the soil moist. If no rain falls, water every day until seeds germinate, then every other day until plants are four inches tall.
When plants reach four inches, begin watering at the base of the plant, limiting the amount of water that gets on the foliage. This helps to prevent mildew and rust. Thin the seedlings for taller zinnias. Thin plants to 4-6 inches apart. For bushy plants with larger blossoms, thin to 8-12 inches apart. If you plant them closer together, you'll minimize weeding, and the stalks will help hold each flower up, even in strong wind. But if it's quality plants you want, thin them as described above.
Fertilizing is key. Organic fertilizers are best, especially compost and rotted (aged) manure. Zinnias like soil that is slightly alkaline. Keep spent blossoms cut and your zinnias will continue to bloom all summer long. Enjoy!
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