Germinating seeds and growing seedlings in a tray/container can help you get a head start on the season, which is especially important in climates with colder Winters. The types of seeds you start, and how long you keep them in the tray, will depend on the plant and upcoming season, so always refer to the instructions on the packet.
Seedlings can be difficult to manage, and it's almost inevitable that you'll lose one or two, so plant several of each variety.
Materials: seeds, soil, water, planting and drainage trays, labels and a mixing utensil.
Be sure to use soil with compost. Fertilizer requires a dirty, energy-intensive process to create, and is not environmentally friendly.
You're looking to achieve a consistency that is fluffy, but visibly dampened.
Generous amounts of soil won't go unused - you'll need to add organic matter while the seedlings grow anyways.
The conditions for seeds to germinate varies among plants; most need an initial exposure to water, so ensure that the soil is moist. Remember: if your water supply is chlorinated, let it sit out for a day before feeding it to your plants.
Use a labelling technique that's easy to understand. If necessary, mark a corner of the tray so you can remember how you were looking at it while planting.
The seeds should have as much contact with the soil as possible. Repeating the gentle packing and watering procedure will help with this.
That's all! Now, remember, seedlings are completely dependant on you, so be sure to give them some attention twice daily.