I'm in zone 5, when do you WS your annuals such as Zinnia, marigold etc?
If you don't WS, when can you directly seed them in ground?
I'm in zone 5 and I wait until April. It's surprising how quickly things grow once it warms up. But, you don't want anything tender to sprout early because then you have to keep them protected from frost.
I'm zone 6 and I start planting them mid-March (next week) through early April.
I usually sow mine in late March - early April. I sow them in cups and line them up along the south side of the foundation of the house, where it is a relatively warm little micro-climate. It is fairly sunny, at least until the trees get their leaves.
This year it might be later though. I am getting a very late start with wsing and it also might be a late Spring. We still have about a foot of snow on the ground. Winter MIGHT be losing its grip this coming week as it will be going above freezing. But it was still -1F this morning! Yikes!
you said you sow them in cups and line them up along south side...what do you do if the weather freezes up between end of March, early April?
Hi jaggu, yes I use cups of assorted sizes, from 8-16 oz generally, line them up in plastic boxes right against the foundation. The edge of the house will be warmer than the surrounding landscape. This is true all around the house, but especially where the foundation is exposed to the sun. The heat retained by the concrete will keep the containers warmer.
We've had April frosts that has put a nice little frosty coating on my hardy sprouts out under the shrubbery (perennials, etc) but the tender sprouts up against the house weren't touched at all!
If you put the seedlings in a warm sunny spot they will dry out much faster, plus be careful not to fry them.
Here's a pic: