All my seeds, except for carrots, are starting off in dunny rolls (here's a video showing HOW TO START SEEDS). They are placed in large containers and then filled with potting mix & topped off with seed raising mix.
I use the best quality potting mix & seed raising mix I can find and I like to use one that has slow release fertiliser plus water crystals because my seeds have to sit out on the veranda for about 6 weeks prior to planting out as seedlings. I live in a cold climate so like to start the seeds early and then leave them in a warm sunny spot to sprout, then transplant out into the main garden once the last frost of the season has passed …which is not until the 2nd week of November (the locals around here say the day after the Melbourne Cup)
I start my seeds in 3 distinct lots and that is because of the cold climate and weather conditions that I live with. The first lot of seeds planted are the ONIONS which are started in pots mid-August and planted out into the garden mid Sept as seedlings, The 2nd lot are CARROT SEEDS and they are planted directly into the garden bed. The 3rd lot of seeds are the frost tender plants such as corn, tomatoes, beans etc. They are started as seeds in Early October and planted out into the main garden mid-November. .
The dunny rolls are collect through the year and come in very handy as they just lift out of the container and can be planted into the soil where they break down anyway. It reduces transplant shock as well
Once the seeds are planted I give them a big drink of water and then place the containers in the glassed area of the veranda where they are protected from the cold & frost. The veranda faces a warm northerly direction which gives the seeds / seedlings filtered sun all day long.
From these seeds I will fill all 7 garden beds, which are each approx. 9 metres long x 1 metre wide , and produce in excess of a tonne of fresh food for this 2014 growing season. the food produced will be harvested and then used fresh or processed by way of blanching, freezing, drying, storing or bottling.
This photo below shows last years garden growing nicely. All the plants in that photo were started by seed
and this is some of the fresh food produced through the season