In the hopes I would end up with a community garden plot or some other space of my own this year, I started some seeds back in February after the Washington Gardener seed exchange. Instead of buying seed-starting flats, I used old ice cube trays covered in plastic wrap on top of my heat mats. When I went to South Carolina for almost two weeks, I put them in a plastic tub to keep them humid--but the actively growing seedlings dried out anyway. A bunch of them died.
The huckleberry and some of the peppers and herbs survived, but most of the tomatoes and basil are dried husks of seedlings.
So, I broke down and bought a cheap, $8 seed-starting tray from Target. It has 72 cells, and I filled up only about 40 with seeds that I think I might grow at my new community garden plot at Wangari Gardens (just blocks from my apartment!). The rest (including some of those 40, which are mostly duplicates) will be used for the DC State Fair seedling swap on 5 May. I started these seeds yesterday morning, before dashing off to New York City for a working vacation. At least when I get home, I'll have happy germinating seedlings to greet me!