Last year, my husband took a small corner of his shop and converted it to a well insulated room to house my grow lights. It has a small heater on a thermostat and I am able to keep it at the perfect 21 degrees for germinating. In only three days, I have baby dusty miller and petunias. Hundreds of them! This is a seed starter mix that I put together myself, which is a 50/50 blend of peat moss and vermiculite. It holds plenty of moisture and resists mildew. My germination rate has doubled since I switched to this medium. The lights are on a timer and I should mention, they are not the expensive grow lights, just 2 different types of regular fluorescents, alternating warm and cool spectrums. They are on for about 14 hours a day, only an inch or two from the plants, and on a timer.
When they get a few of their true leaves, I will begin transplanting. That's where that special mix really comes in handy. Because it is so loose, roots do not get bound up in it, and are easily removed from the tray. Then they go into soil, and usually just take right off. They will stay under the lights until my greenhouse is warm enough overnight, usually around the beginning of May.
Here are my babies - so very tiny.