Few gardening endeavours are as gratifying as starting your own seeds. When those little cotyledons pop out of the soil, it always feels like such a tiny miracle. Starting them yourself saves money and is a great activity with kids. Here are a few tips to get you started:
1) Drainage is essential - make sure your pots have holes otherwise seeds/seedlings will rot.
2) Cover trays or pots with a plastic dome or wrap to create some humidity and stable moisture. Remove after germination
3) Bottom heat will encourage a more thorough, quick germination as most seeds appreciate temps of 18-24 degrees. Use heat mats or place on top of an existing heat source. Check moisture regularly as heat encourages quicker drying
4) Feed regularly with a liquid fertilizer once its first set of 'true' leaves are up (the leaves that look the plant when mature)
5) Harden off seedlings before planting outside - slowly introduce them to the outside world and the sun over the period of a week.