Beginner's questions on spring bulb and seed planting
I live in an apartment in the LA area, and my landlord recently has allowed me to use a small space (60 sq. ft) in front of the apartment as a cutting flower garden. I'd like to try dahlias from tubers and sunflowers, but need some help about the best time to plant. The area gets good morning sun, but because of surrounding apartments, a lot of it is in shade by 2:00 pm. Nonetheless, I'm willing to deal with somewhat spindly plants and staking, if I can get a few nice blooms.
So what's the best time to put the dahlia tubers in the ground? Should I start the sunflowers from seeds inside, and then replant outside, or sow directly into the ground? If I start the seeds inside (I have a light stand), when should I start them? And if I sow directly into the ground, when should I sow?
thanks in advance for any recommendations.
-Roz, in LA