In prior years, I have done a few seeds with mixed results - example last year I couldn't get butternut squash to survive but the flowers did well. For the bulk of our garden we usually went straight to Lowes, bought the plants and popped them into the ground. Easy peasy. This year, in an effort to save money, we're growing everything from seed. It is definitely a challenge but fortunately we do have some equipment already bought and set up. This is a good thing because I just checked on grow lights from Lowes and they are already sold out. I was hoping to get a second shelf going but looks like I'm going to have to make do with what I've got!
Here is our set up:
We use a plant light from Lowes that cost $39.99. We bought it three years ago and use it in January to kick start our amaryllis' followed by vegetable seedlings in March and then I'll do flower seedlings after we plant the veggies outside. We've attached the grow light to heavy duty wire shelves that cost around $30. We have a round thermometer that says the room is 70 degrees.
We bought two sets of Jiffy-Strip pots in early March, and since we haven't been going as often to stores we've used whatever else we have available to plant in. Paper egg cartons, seedling containers from past years, all sitting in paint roller trays to prevent water from getting onto the floor. Pop-cycle or craft sticks work great for writing the seed name.