This year I used a spongy "growsheet" to start my cool crop seeds. The sheet fits in a 10 x 20 tray and has a clear cover to facilitate good humidity levels during germination and seedling growth. The process is quite simple:
Eventually, seedlings will be ready for transplanting. As warm as the predictions are running, these may be ready to go directly outdoors as they are all cool weather crops--all but the sunflowers. They'll need to wait a little longer to go outdoors. They'll probably go into peat pots in the interim. I'll transplant them about the same time I start germinating the next round of seeds, the ones for the summer crops.
Welcome, Garden 2012. Glad to have you here!