Doesn't the year always start when you put your first seeds in the ground? Or in my case the first seeds in potting soil. Yesterday I finally made up my planting schedule. It isn't hard. I made a spreadsheet years ago. Whenever I get seeds I put into the spreadsheet how long I want to grow them as transplants and how long before or after the last frost they go in the ground. The spreadsheet automatically calculates the day to plant the seeds be it indoors or out. I don't use the numbers as gospel. I give or take depending on the year or how I think things are going or just if I feel like planting that day. The spreadsheet told me that I should have planted my onions on January 24th. So I looked for my planting trays.soil blocks. I know from experience that that number will be more than enough to fill my onion beds. I'll be able to toss out the small and sickly seedlings.
As you can see I grow my plants under lights. Onions are day length sensitive so for now I'll have them on for 12 hours a day. Usually for plants I use a 15 hour daylight cycle, but that would confuse the heck out of my long day onions. They would think it was time to start bulbing up.
I do a couple of things to help along the seedlings. I sprinkle the tops with cinnamon. The hope is that it keeps down the damping off. Occasionally I have trouble with damping off, but very rarely. Also to help with that and to make it easier for the seed, I cover the seeds with vermiculite instead of potting soil. I find that seeds come up much better when covered that way. Once I was done I covered everything with plastic wrap. That will stay on until I see the first little sprout start to come up. I can't wait.