I've read so much shit about how to germinate veggies seeds as if it were rocket science. Some sources say to use sterile soil. Some say to use some b.s soil compound. Some say to use peat moss (which is a horrible use of resources). I personally say funk all that mess.
I throw the seeds right into the veggie bed. I get very few failures of germination. I have a higher failure rate of transplants, when I transplant from one medium to another. I have however found that using equal parts coco coir and worm castings works really well. All while using declorinated water. Don't mess up your soils biology by dumping tap water on your healthy seedlings. I know some people do. But I had always got some sort of discolored leafs and poorer results of yields and growth. There are a few really good, simple, and inexpensive items one can use. So if you're not collecting rain water (as you maybe should be). And instead are using a water hose. You might want to consider a product like this one:
Now about rain harvesting. If you have the space for a tank. Get one already! Even in the smallest of spaces. There is a tank that will work. You can even get all fancy and shit and setup a drip system off that rain tank. Assuming you're tight on space and budget. Bushman Water Tanks are great. They make a 205 gallon tank that fits damn near any where. It costs about $350. I know it's not rainy season. But maybe plan on one by the next season. The time between now and then should give ya time to save up. Don't bitch and whine how expensive things are. How much do you spend on beer, cigs, pot, hookers, burritos, petrol, shoes, etc? That 205 gallon tank on a drip system will probably last you most of the summer (results will vary on your location and some other details).
So back to germinating. I don't get what all the overly thought out crap is about. If you're germinating indoors for crop succession to get the most amount of yields to feed yourself. I do not see why you can not use your existing garden soil in trays in the garage? The seeds will be familiar with the soil as soon as you transplant them. You have the mycrorize, soil biology, and nutrients already there. Now there are certain conditions to be mindful of when germinating. Seeds like a nice environment. So if you're smoking cigs in the garage. Stop that shit. Go outside. The seeds need a little warmth. There are heating pads and domes you can put over the container. If you've made your own germinating table and containers. You can use burlap sack to lay over the soil. It will hold in some heat. Or you can incorporate a mini hoop house like structure with some simple painters plastic. I've read some seedlings like light while germinating. I have yet to witness this. But I see my seedlings daily. It's a relaxing chore for me to peek in on my seedlings.
My next experiment is to debunk the ideal you can not plant carrots indoors and transplant them. I've got an idear Vern. I'm going to use landscapers tubers (the ones they use for native grasses). Carrots are ass holes. They take their sweet ass time to grow. Which is why many small space gardeners don't grow them. You can grow so much more stuff in half the time of carrots and have food much faster.
Check this out as well: