I had read about making homemade seed tapes and about pre-germinating seeds and I decided to try a little of both. First I tried making a paste with a mix of flour & water. What I ended up with was a sticky gooey mess.
It didn't squeeze out of the bag very well at all. The cat liked it though...
Time to try something else...
This one seemed simple, pre-sprouting sugar snap peas (collected from last season's plants). Last spring, I soaked the seeds overnight before planting and they came up quickly. When I attempted a fall crop, I didn't soak the seeds and they took a lot longer to sprout. Since I'm really starting this pretty early, I figured pre-sprouting may be a good idea. This is just peas on a napkin in a bit of water.
I also read about using a cornstarch & water gel to start seeds. This was much better than the flour & water. I used about 1 TBSP cornstarch mixed with a cup of water and boiled it for a minute. I may have brought it to a boil too quickly resulting in a few lumps which I'll try to avoid next time. I put a spot of gel on a bit of paper towel using a baggie like a pastry bag and placed the seed in the gel. This was really pretty easy using a toothpick. Once I touched the end of a toothpick into the gel, it picked up seeds quite nicely.
Then I put the paper towel into these new style egg cartons. If you haven't seen them, they are a 3 piece unit. One cup under the egg, one cup over the egg and a flat lid over the top. I cut off one section of the cups (leaving a regular egg carton) then took that section, stabbed a hole in the bottom of each cup with an exacto knife and placed the seed in it. That piece sits in the upside down egg carton lid with the other cup as the new top.I tried red onion, walla-walla onion, spinach, broccoli, lettuce & mesclun in the egg cartons. I also tried some seed strips of carrots, scallions & radishes in a storage box.
After a thorough spritzing with the water bottle, I put the storage box on the back of my television (which is on WAY too much) and the egg cartons on a rack over the cable converter box which seems to be warm all the time. I used the rack so I wouldn't burn up the box by covering it's ventilation.
Then I learned a few things.
1. Peas don't smell good when you get them wet and leave them in a warm little box.
2. Onions don't either.
3. Radishes can sprout in 24 hours!!