The best time of year to plant oats is in early to mid spring. Sow the oat seeds directly into the ground. You can also buy and plant seedlings in early spring if they are annuals. Plant perennial oats in spring or fall.
Plant the seeds at a depth of about 1/4 inch. Plant the smaller types of oats between 10 to 12 inches apart, and plant the larger varieties between 18 to 24 inches apart. Plant them in full sun and in dry, slightly acidic to slightly alkaline soil. Keep the soil moist, and add compost to the plants or cover them with manure to help them retain water.