Over at Self Sustained Living mmpaints has an idea I am going to try, even this late in the season. It is not too late for basil. She sprouts seeds in baggies, the generic ziplock kind.
She has instructions and pictures here. See, I give credit where credit is due. Since mmpaints has the pictures, I don't have to take any.
She starts in the Fall, so these must be large plants by spring. I may start some of my fall plants later this summer. I do not have to buy the tray each year because I save mine from one year to the next. I have it right now, but will use this method along with the tray.
As one of her commenters points out, soil in the bag might work as well. But, then you have to make sure you don't disturb the tiny roots when you transplant. I do like the parsimonious way, but some days, easy is the way for me. Any other time, I might have scoffed at mmpaints idea as costly. NO MORE. Yes, I will invest in generic sandwich bags this week.
My house is always cold in the winter and the door opens at my South window where I would keep these, so some sort of plastic box is needed. I saw a plastic box that will be mine, washed down a hill and in a drain at the bottom. Tomorrow, I rescue it for germinating seeds. An old, leaky fish tank would work, I think, for a drafty house.
Have you ever tried this method? How did it work compared to other methods?